Goaltender Jack Campbell made his NHL debut for the Dallas Stars in Anaheim Sunday night, and he was outstanding. But Campbell saw a lot of rubber and a lot of quality shots, and the Anaheim Ducks made the most of the opportunities in defeating the Stars, 6-3.
“It’s frustrating. We wanted to be better for him,” said Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon. “It’s his first NHL game, but for us with how we played last night we wanted to rebound. He played a great game. Those are some of the best players in the world out there with (Corey) Perry and (Ryan) Getzlaf, two highly skilled players and they played well. We kind of left him out to dry.”
Campbell stopped 12 of 13 shots in the first period as the Stars built a 3-1 lead, but the Ducks scored five unanswered goals, tallying three times on 23 shots in the second period and adding two more in the third. When the final horn sounded, Campbell had faced 47 shots and stopped 41 of them.
“Four of the goals were tipped. He could have been maybe a little more aggressive on the tips, but for his first game I thought he pitched a pretty good performance for us,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.
The performance of the Stars’ special teams was not so good. The Stars lost the special teams battle for a second straight night, surrendering two power play goals and allowing a shorthanded goal. The Stars gave the Ducks five power plays in the game, including three in the second period when the Ducks seized control of the game.
“Our lack of discipline hurt us again on a couple of calls,” said Ruff. “If you are going to go on the road, lead a game 3-1 and take some of the penalties that we took, then you are inviting trouble. That was disappointing.”
The Ducks went on the game’s first power play 1:39 into the first period when Ryan Garbutt was called for kneeing and cashed in 59 seconds later. Getzlaf sent a pass from the left wing to a wide open Teemu Selanne, who beat Campbell from point blank range to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
Campbell came up with a couple of big stops to keep the Stars within a goal, stopping the deflection of a Bryan Allen shot with just over 11 minutes left in the period and then a blast by Cam Fowler from the left circle at 10:03 of the first.
Just 12 seconds after Campbell’s save on Fowler, the Stars tied the game. Ryan Garbutt chipped the puck away from Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen at the Anaheim blue line to put the Stars on a two-on-one rush and Garbutt scored from the left wing to make it a 1-1 game.
The Stars took a 2-1 lead at the 14:38 mark of the first when Brenden Dillon’s shot from the left point deflected off traffic and past Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller.
The Stars went on the power play late in the first and scored to take a 3-1 lead. Jamie Benn’s shot was tipped by Erik Cole and then bounced off Shawn Horcoff and into the net with 1:05 left in the period.
The Ducks made a goaltending change to start the second, putting Frederik Andersen in for Hiller. The Ducks then scored 54 seconds into the period to cut the Stars’ lead to 3-2. Getzlaf centered the puck from the left wing and Perry deflected it past Campbell.
The Ducks went on their third power play of the game at 3:22 of the second, but Campbell made seven saves as the Stars killed it off to preserve their lead.
The Ducks went on another power play, their fourth, at 11:19 of the second and scored on this one to tie the game at 3-3. Perry deflected a Fowler point shot past Campbell.
The Stars had a chance on the power play with 2:08 left in the second, but the Ducks scored shorthanded to take a 4-3 lead. Emerson Etem deflected an Andrew Cogliano centering pass into the net.
“That was a pretty tough period for us. I don’t think we competed as hard as we could have,” Garbutt said. “It was frustrating. After getting a 3-1 lead in the first we had to keep that up in the second, and we definitely didn’t do that.”
The Stars had a power play chance early in the third, but couldn’t take advantage. The Ducks extended their lead to 5-3 when Getzlaf scored off the rush at the 4:26 mark of the third period. Mathieu Perrault deflected in an Etem shot at the 15:12 mark to round out the scoring in the game.
The loss was the fourth in the last five games for the Stars, who fell to 3-5-0 on the season. The Ducks (7-1-0) set a franchise record with their seventh straight win.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.