ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Anaheim Ducks got two penalties at the worst possible times, extinguishing two of their power plays and resulting in two power-play goals by the Dallas Stars. It led to the most lopsided loss by the defending Stanley Cup champs in almost four years.
Jere Lehtinen had a goal and two assists and the Stars beat the Ducks 5-0 on Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak. Mike Ribeiro and Jussi Jokinen scored on power plays and Marty Turco recorded his 31st career shutout and first of the season with 19 saves.
"We've been playing like dog meat, so it was important for us to execute and be aggressive and play hard for an entire game regardless of the score and who it was against," Turco said. "We're a defensive team, so that's a shutout that everybody feels good about."
The last time the Ducks lost by more than four goals in the regular season was Dec. 3, 2003 when the Red Wings beat them 7-2 at Detroit. It was their most lopsided defeat on home ice since the Minnesota Wild beat them 5-0 on Jan. 24, 2001 - and their worst shutout loss anywhere since Nov. 21, 2001, when the Panthers beat them 6-0 at Florida.
"I think they have a bit of a Stanley Cup hangover going on over there," said Stars centre Mike Modano, who helped Dallas win a championship in 1999. "As much as they put into the playoffs last year, it's just tough to come back and get motivated and get up for games because of how hard you've been pushed physically and mentally only a few months ago. A couple of their key guys from last year aren't there, so they've got a different makeup."
The Ducks were booed off the ice by the sellout crowd of 17,174 after getting outshot 12-4 in the second period. Ilya Bryzgalov played the third period after Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 15 of 19 shots, giving up a goal by Chris Conner on the second shot he faced. Giguere had allowed only five goals on 74 shots over the previous four games.
"We played a strong, defending, hard road game and ended up with five goals and a shutout," coach Dave Tippett said. "It was the kind of game we needed right now because I thing we'd been cheating our identity and not playing the solid game we would like to play. But tonight our mindset was to come and play a strong road game - which, in essence, is how our team has to play all the time."
Less than 2 1-2 minutes remained in the first period when Turco stopped a wrist shot from the left circle by Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry took a whack at the goalie's pads trying to convert the rebound. When Dallas defenceman Mattias Norstrom shoved Perry away after the whistle, Getzlaf came to his teammate's defence and got a roughing penalty.
It negated the final 1:19 of a Ducks power play, and the Stars opened the scoring with six seconds left on Getzlaf's infraction. Sergei Zubov's wrist shot from the right circle struck the skate of Anaheim defenceman Sean O'Donnell near the crease and Ribeiro tapped it past Giguere's left skate with 24 seconds left in the period.
"The Getzlaf penalty was a judgment call," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "There were two guys involved in a little bit of a scrum, and he goes in defending a teammate. He probably wouldn't have gotten the penalty if Norstrom didn't fall down. So you've got to live with that. You're always asking your players to stand up for one another, but it depends on how deep in trouble the individual is. And in that situation, I don't think Corey was in very much trouble."
Chris Pronger was sent off for interference in the second period with 44 seconds left on another Anaheim power play. The Stars cashed in again with 14 seconds left on Pronger's penalty, as Jokinen whipped a 20-foot wrist shot over Giguere's glove from the slot to trigger a three-goal period for Dallas.
Brenden Morrow and Lehtinen increased the margin to 4-0, scoring less than 1 1-2 minutes apart with the second intermission approaching. Morrow converted a rebound after Lehtinen carried the puck out from behind the net and tried to stuff it past Giguere with a backhander. Lehtinen scored from the edge of the crease with 4 seconds on the clock after a perfect setup by Ribeiro.
Notes: The shutout loss was the second at home this season for the Ducks. They had played 53 straight at home without getting blanked before Minnesota's John Harding beat them 2-0 with 37 saves on Oct. 14. ... The Ducks came in having allowed just two power-play goals in 37 short-handed situations at home this season. ... Modano was stuck on 1,231 career points for the third straight game, leaving him one shy of Phil Housley's NHL record for American-born players.