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Getzlaf leads Ducks past Stars

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM – Hours after the Anaheim Ducks acquired a key forward for the stretch run, they reminded everyone of what they already had.

Captain Ryan Getzlaf shined with a goal and two assists and Viktor Fasth continued to thrive against the Dallas Stars in a 5-2 victory Wednesday that showed two teams on distinctly different paths post-trade deadline.

Getzlaf shook off what appeared to be a lower-body injury in the third period and came back to score a highlight-backhand goal, the 150th of his career, off a terrific pass from Corey Perry.

Fasth, who shutout Dallas on Monday, stopped 23 shots as Anaheim took the first two games of three straight against the Stars.

Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau removed Getzlaf after his goal so the latter could ice down. He said his captain "is going to be okay, but he's sore."

Getzlaf has 31 points in his past 23 games.

"I listen to a lot of media, and a lot of people all talk about another guy back east about MVP," Boudreau said, referring to Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. "I don't know if anybody's been more important to their team than our guy. He got hurt a little bit, came back out, and when he scored the goal, I said, 'That's it for you. Let's rest it here.'"

Anaheim is 3-0-1 since a season-high four-game losing streak and crept to two points behind the Chicago Blackhawks for the top seed in the Western Conference. When the teams meet Friday, Anaheim will have filled their second-line center spot with Matthew Lombardi, who was acquired earlier in the day for Brandon McMillan.

Getzlaf highlighted the first two goals. He threaded a pass to Radek Dvorak on a delayed penalty that Dvorak one-time tapped home for his first goal as a Duck at 11:44 of the first. Getzlaf fed Teemu Selanne for a snap shot from the right side at 11:33 of the second.

Selanne's 673rd career goal came after Cam Fowler kept the puck in Anaheim's zone.

Dvorak has nearly 1,200 NHL games on his resume and spent last season with the Stars. He's now getting a taste of Anaheim and his new captain after signing with the club last week.

"Beautiful," Dvorak said of Getzlaf's pass. "He's one of the best passers in the League. He sees the ice very well. As soon as I see him with the puck I just try to get open, and the puck landed up on my stick. It was an easy topping for me."

Kyle Palmieri made it 3-0 late in the second when he took a pass from Peter Holland and embarrassed Aaron Rome with a drive along the goal line to stuff it in for his eighth goal.

The Stars played their first game since they traded leading scorer Jaromir Jagr (Boston Bruins) and Derek Roy (Vancouver Canucks) for three prospects and two draft picks. They played two players with three games of NHL experience and another, Alex Chiasson, who made his NHL debut.

"It's tough to find the good stuff in a loss like that," defenseman Stephane Robidas said. "There are a lot of new faces, young guys that had their first experience with us and I thought they did really well. That's a positive sign. They worked hard and did their part. I think we can defend a little harder and be a little more physical in our zone, especially against a team with that much skill."

It won't get any easier for Dallas, which has allowed 21 goals during a 1-4 slide. Coach Glen Gulutzan tried Loui Eriksson at center while Jamie Benn, who thrived with Jagr, played with Erik Cole and Eric Nystrom.

Eriksson won six faceoffs and lost six.

"I liked him," Gulutzan said. "I kept him there for two periods. I think he sees some of the freedom in that position as far as creating, so I thought the test run was decent."

Cole scored in the third period when he fended off Holland and put Vernon Fiddler's feed past Fasth, who saw his shutout streak against Dallas end at 1:02:48. He has stopped 49 of 51 shots against Dallas.

Lane MacDermid, who arrived in the trade for Jagr, scored late in the third for his first NHL goal.

"He has some toughness, and he's a good kid," Gulutzan said. "So it was good to see him get his goal there, but we need to be a little tougher as a group as far as our battle level."

Gulutzan added that "our team still has something to prove here. We're a different locker room, and there's a lot of pride in there and you can see it in [Vernon] Fiddler and Benn and [Ray] Whitney and all those guys. We're going to work. We're going to work hard. We need to get a little tougher in our battles and capitalize."

Matt Beleskey was high-sticked by Chiasson in the third period and received stitches under his eye.

Anaheim's Saku Koivu recorded his 800th career point.

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