ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Dallas Stars' penalty-killing unit is the best in
the NHL. It took a double-deflection for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to capitalize
on their only power play of the game.
Rob Niedermayer was credited with the tying goal long after the game ended --
and for the second time after three official scoring changes -- as the Ducks
rallied for a 2-2 tie with Dallas on Monday night.
"I'm just glad that we found a way to tie it," Anaheim captain Steve
Rucchin said after the Stars blew a third-period lead for the third time in
four games. "Dallas is a good team, but even they're going to be susceptible
to teams coming back on them."
Rucchin scored early in the first period, Petr Sykora had two assists and
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 21 saves for the Ducks, who are 6-12-4 with two
overtime losses since a season-best three-game winning streak in mid-November.
Jere Lehtinen had a goal and an assist and Scott Young also scored for the
Stars, who have tied four of their last five games and allowed no more than two
goals in 19 of their last 23 contests. Dallas captain Mike Modano, whose 44
assists and 64 total points against Anaheim are the most by any Ducks opponent,
missed his second game because of a groin injury.
"Obviously, Modano is a great player and one of the best in the league,"
Giguere said. "They're obviously not as dangerous offensively without him, and
not as fast. But we're missing key players, too. It's just the nature of the
game, and you've got to find a way to step up."
Dallas took a 2-1 lead with 14:53 left in the third when Pierre Turgeon got
a pass behind the net from Lehtinen, then carried it in front and set up Young
at the right of the crease with a perfect thread-the-needle pass under
But the Ducks, who eliminated Dallas from last season's playoffs, tied it
while Richard Matvichuk was off for high-sticking.
Sergei Fedorov took a slap shot from the top of the right circle that
ricocheted off the left knee pad of Niedermayer, then off the skate of Stars
defenseman Teppo Numminen and past goaltender Marty Turco's stick.
The goal originally was credited to Fedorov, then changed to Niedermayer,
then changed back to Fedorov at the end of the game. But it had to be reversed
again when Niedermayer explained to club officials that he was indeed the last
Anaheim player to touch the puck.
"The bottom line is, we cashed in on a power-play opportunity," Rucchin
said. "We're not getting too many of them lately. We seem to be getting just
one or two a game. I think we're pretty used to it by now, unfortunately. But a
lot of that is our fault, too. We need to work to draw penalties."
Dallas was 0-for-5 on the power play and is scoreless on 13 opportunities
with the man advantage in its last three games.
"With all the power-play opportunities, we should have put them away, but
we didn't," Young said. "We tried to keep their shots down to about 20 -- and
that's good, as long as they're not quality shots."
Giguere was sharp from the beginning -- and he had to be because of some
sloppy defensive play by his teammates. Defenseman Kurt Sauer's attempted
clearing pass around the boards was intercepted behind the net by Turgeon,
whose perfect centering pass forced Giguere to stop Lehtinen twice from close
range just 68 seconds after the opening faceoff.
"Those were important minutes for us," Giguere said. "I wanted to make
sure that I was going to battle until the end."
Young was thwarted by Giguere at the two-minute mark on a one-timer from 15
feet, and Rucchin opened the scoring about a half-minute later with a short
backhander from the edge of the crease after his pass to Sykora bounced back to
him off Sykora's stick.
Lehtinen tied it at 7:01 of the second period, beating Giguere with a
20-foot wrist shot from the left circle about 20 seconds after Turco robbed
Sykora on a one-timer from point-blank range.