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game recap

Ducks score two shorthanded goals, defeat Stars

Gibson makes 24 saves, Anaheim back in first place in Pacific Division

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

Kesler scores Ducks' second SHG

DAL@ANA: Kesler scores a SHG 10 seconds into the 3rd

4/3/16: Jakob Silfverberg creates a turnover and finds Ryan Kesler in front, who puts it home for the Ducks' second shorthanded goal

  • 01:00 •

ANAHEIM -- Two shorthanded goals and John Gibson's 24 saves helped the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-1 win against the Dallas Stars at Honda Center on Sunday.

The Ducks (44-24-10, 98 points) are one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for first place in the Pacific Division.

"It was our best game in a month, and I thought we were a pretty determined group," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We knew what their strengths were. I thought a good game plan was put together and I thought the players executed it really well."

The Stars (48-23-9, 105 points) failed to clinch the Central Division and the top seed in the Western Conference. The St. Louis Blues trail the Stars by two points after their 5-1 win at the Colorado Avalanche.

Video: DAL@ANA: Thompson steals the puck, scores SHG

It was the first time the Ducks scored more than one shorthanded goal in a game since March 3, 2015, at the Arizona Coyotes.

"Getting two, I think you should win the game," Anaheim forward Andrew Cogliano said. "Those are goals where they're just big in momentum shifts and those were the difference tonight."

With Cogliano in the penalty box for tripping Stars defenseman John Klingberg, Nate Thompson scored his third goal in as many games at 12:14 of the second period to put the Ducks ahead 1-0. After Dallas goalie Antti Niemi made a save on Jakob Silfverberg, the puck was sent out to the neutral zone. Thompson retrieved it, broke back into the offensive zone and deked around Niemi.

It was the third shorthanded goal of Thompson's NHL career and his first this season.

Video: DAL@ANA: Gibson stops Ja. Benn's one-timer

"That was a great play," Cogliano said. ""Those are almost bonus goals and those are big plays."

Ryan Kesler made it 2-0 10 seconds into the second period with his first shorthanded goal this season. Niemi turned over the puck to Silfverberg, who fed a wide-open Kesler in the slot from behind the net.

Silfverberg has 13 points in the past 11 games, and Kesler has five in the past three.

The Stars have allowed 15 shorthanded goals, most in the NHL.

Video: DAL@ANA: Faksa's late goal cuts the lead to one

"Two mistakes and it's 2-0," Dallas captain Jamie Benn said. "They're mental mistakes and they killed us in this game. (At) 5-on-5, we were playing pretty good for back-to-back games, but the power play killed us."

In addition to allowing two goals while on the man-advantage, Dallas went 0-for-4 on the power play.

Stars rookie forward Radek Faksa scored with 1:29 remaining to make it 2-1, but Kesler scored an empty-net goal with 21.3 left to seal the win. It was his 20th goal of the season and fourth two-goal game in 2015-16.

Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said the Stars were taxed entering the game, which was the second of a Southern California back-to-back. Dallas came from behind in the third period to defeat the Kings 3-2 on Saturday in a grinding, physical game.

Video: DAL@ANA: Gibson denies Sharp's attempts in the crease

"I think they were fortunate to catch us on the back end of what was a very demanding game yesterday," Ruff said. "I thought our energy was OK. I thought we had a good chance right off the bat. Our second shift, in fact, had an empty net. We had two or three plays where when you don't have quite the energy level you need, your hands aren't as good."

Niemi made 22 saves; he is 15-10-1 in his career against the Ducks.

The Ducks played without six regulars: defensemen Kevin Bieksa (upper body) and Simon Despres (undisclosed); forwards David Perron (shoulder), Brandon Pirri (lower body) and Rickard Rakell (appendix); and goalie Frederik Andersen (concussion).

Cogliano played in his 700th consecutive game to begin his NHL career. Only Doug Jarvis started his career in the League with a longer streak, playing in 964 straight from 1975-1988.

Video: DAL@ANA: Niemi stuffs Silfverberg on the goal line

Cogliano is the sixth player in NHL history to have a consecutive game streak of 700 or more.

"I'm obviously proud of myself," Cogliano said. "I've been very fortunate to be able to do that, and you can't tell the future, but hopefully it continues. I'm very appreciative of the thing tonight on the Jumbotron and people congratulating me."

It was Corey Perry's 800th game with the Ducks. Perry and Teemu Selanne are the only players with 800 or more games with Anaheim.

Video: Ducks score two short-handed goals, beat Stars 3-1

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