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Fasth makes 26 saves as Ducks blank Stars

by Steve Hunt /

DALLAS -- One day after Dallas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan called his team's effort "embarrassing" in a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, his club delivered another less-than-memorable performance in a 4-0 defeat to the Anaheim Ducks before 13,748 at American Airlines Center on Monday.

"Pretty disappointing," was how Stars center Jamie Benn termed the loss. "Fourteen games or whatever left, there's no bigger points than the game you're playing that night and we came out with none tonight, so it's a pretty [crummy] feeling."

After a scoreless first period, Anaheim victimized Dallas for three goals within 4:49 in the second. Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry, Matt Beleskey and Teemu Selanne each scored for the Ducks, while Viktor Fasth stopped all 26 shots he faced for his third career shutout and 12th win of the season.

Selanne added an empty-netter with 32 seconds left -- his ninth goal of the season -- to make it a 4-0 final.

"Matty Beleskey hadn't scored in a while. Teemu hadn't scored in a while," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Those guys are the ones that need a goal, and they got it. Hopefully it'll jump start them again."

Ryan Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan each had two points for the Ducks, who are now 11-3-5 on the road.

Dallas was shut out for the fourth time this season and for the first time in nine games, since a 4-0 home loss to the Nashville Predators on March 12. The Stars finished their season-long five-game homestand with a disappointing mark of 2-3-0.

"We came out hungry," Gulutzan said. "I thought we had some really good chances, we just didn't capitalize, and I thought their goalie made some good saves."

The Stars looked to get on the board early when wing Loui Eriksson attempted to slip a wrister into the left side of the Anaheim net, but his 21-foot attempt from the left faceoff circle whistled off the crossbar.

Dallas had another quality chance right before the first intermission when Jamie Benn had a nice look at the Anaheim net at 19:24, but Fasth was able to get his blocker in front of Benn's wrist shot and send it wide.

"He [Fasth] made big saves. We weren't perfect tonight. We had breakdowns and I think all Viktor did was frustrate that team," Boudreau said. "That was the big thing -- we didn't want them to get one because we thought that would really energize them and Viktor held the door and did that, especially at the end of the first, which would have given them a 1-0 lead going into the second and it might have been a whole different story."

Perry concurred with his coach that Fasth's big saves in the opening 20 minutes went a long way in he and his teammates having some momentum in the second period.

"[Loui] Eriksson had two shots and [Jamie] Benn had a couple shots. When you get big saves from a guy, that's huge. It builds confidence on the bench," Perry said.

After a penalty-free opening period, Dallas went on the power play at 1:48 of the second when Selanne was whistled for high sticking on Stars center Cody Eakin. At 5:43, the Stars gained the man advantage for a second time after Bryan Allen was called for elbowing Dallas' Francis Wathier.

Just seven seconds into the power play, Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski took a 35-foot slapper from the left circle, but Fasth came up with a glove save to stop play at 5:50.

The Ducks went on the power play for the first time at 8:57 when Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas was called for hooking on Ryan. And at 10:13, it was Ryan who put the visitors ahead, beating Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen short side with a 28-foot wrister. Getzlaf got the primary assist after a pinpoint cross-ice pass from the left circle to Ryan, who converted for his 10th of the season.

"Those are things that we need to do to win hockey games, is score on the power play, especially when the killers are doing their job," Getzlaf said. "They're getting things done and you've got to go out and capitalize on those things and we were happy to do that tonight."

Anaheim then made it a 2-0 game when Perry tapped in a rebound at 12:52 for his 12th of the season. Getzlaf's initial shot was deflected by Ryan. Perry had a step on Robidas and quickly flipped in a wrister for the Ducks' second of the period.

The Ducks added a third goal in the middle period when Beleskey knocked in his own rebound at 15:02. Former Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray flipped a high-flying pass from behind the Anaheim net that teammate Kyle Palmieri controlled near the Dallas blue line. Palmieri then flipped the puck to Beleskey, whose first backhand was denied at the near post by Lehtonen. However, Beleskey stuck with it and flipped in the rebound from in front of the Dallas net, beating Lehtonen with a backhand for his sixth of the season, making it 3-0.

Dallas did go on the power play twice more in the third, the first time at 6:49 when Ben Lovejoy was guilty of high sticking on Eric Nystrom, and the second at 10:25 when Francois Beauchemin tripped Eriksson. However, the Stars were unable to convert on the first opportunity and saw their second man advantage of the period cut short when Jaromir Jagr was guilty of hooking just 33 seconds after the Beauchemin penalty.

The Stars pulled Lehtonen with 1:18 remaining, but were unable to muster any additional chances with the extra skater. Selanne's empty-netter with 32 seconds left sealed the deal.

With the loss, the Stars fall to 8-9-2 at home. Lehtonen stopped 27 of the 30 shots he faced in a losing effort.

These same two clubs will meet twice more this week, with the Ducks hosting the Stars on Wednesday and Friday at Honda Center.

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