There is something afoot in Dallas, something the Stars knew all too well last season, but this season, the winning is all too new. Having won six of their last 10 entering Saturday night’s game against the Ducks, the main concern was gaining points in the division and conference.
“Winning is addictive and losing is addictive. Right now we’re winning and it’s becoming addictive,” Brad Richards said after the Stars 4-3 overtime victory over the Anaheim Ducks.
The win now places Dallas over .500 for the first time this season, and two points behind eighth seeded Nashville. Additionally, Dallas has now won four straight at home and are 6-1-0 in their last seven games at American Airlines Center.
“The important thing is the two points and climbing the ladder,” Mike Ribeiro said after the game. “We have to keep a playoff mentality every night and we just need to keep pushing.
"We need to focus on the game at hand and keep winning at home. We’ve been showing some good work ethic, so we’ll try and keep this run going. We are gaining some confidence and pushing forward.”
The Anaheim Ducks jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a Chris Kunitz backhand goal at 6:20 of the first. Ryan Getzlaf and Chris Pronger recorded assists on the goal that was Kunitz’s ninth of the season.
The Ducks lived up to their name as a top team in penalties, recording three penalties to Dallas’ one in the first period. The lone Stars penalty was an interference call on Stephane Robidas at 7:14.
The Ducks top scorer Ryan Getzlaf took a hooking penalty at 11:06, with Corey Perry following at 13:43 for tripping. To end the penalty on the penalty kill the Ducks Brett Festerling took a delay of game penalty at 18:14.
Dallas fought hard and shut down the Ducks after the initial goal, and seized momentum with a Brad Richards wrist shot goal at 8:27 to tie the game at one. Toby Petersen recorded his fifth assist of the season on Richards’s goal.
Anaheim, yet again, set the tone for cheerleaders in the penalty box in the second period. Corey Perry took a goaltender interference penalty at 11:01. Dallas received a matching penalty at 11:01 on Trevor Daley for roughing on Anaheim forward Corey Perry during the interference call.
Yet again, Dallas finished the period on the man advantage, when Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf took a holding penalty at 19:21.
The third period was all goal-scoring, with each team scoring twice. Stars rookie James Neal scored a power play goal at 1:06. Mike Ribeiro and Mike Modano recorded assists on the goal, which is Neal’s 12th of the season.
The Ducks Brenden Morrison would score twice in a row, once at 8:11 on the backhand and on a wrist shot at 16:39 giving Anaheim the 3-2 lead.
At 18:56, after pulling goaltender Marty Turco in favor of the extra attacker, Mike Ribeiro scored on a wrist shot. Steve Ott recorded an assist after a great hit in the offensive zone to keep the puck in the Dallas zone. James Neal also recorded an assist on the goal, which stands as Ribeiro’s sixth of the season.
Steve Ott took the only penalty of the period, an interference minor at 6:33.
After following these two teams so heavily, I wasn’t surprised to see them go into overtime, and like the Stars television personalities, I was expecting Mike Modano to have a productive overtime. Modano didn’t let anyone down.
At 1:33 of the overtime period, the Ducks Ryan Getzlaf took a slashing penalty giving the Stars many good opportunities in the offensive zone.
Just as Getzlaf left the box to return to four-on-four hockey, Modano blasted a slapshot past J.S. Giguere at 3:34 to give the Stars the win. Brad Richards and Mike Ribeiro recorded assists on the goal, Modano’s 12th of the season.
“We had some good chances, those guys worked hard down low to get it up high and my shot went in,” Modano said in the post game interviews
“Great to see us come back and send it to overtime, and Modano had a great shot at the end but we were sloppy and messy, lots of turkey involved,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said after the game.
“We’ll take the points though. We were very efficient at the start at the third, but we can’t keep turning pucks over and chasing the game. We were on our heels at times, and those are things we need to clean up.”
“We’re trying to make a big push right here,” Neal said. “It’s our house and it’s where we want to win a lot of games. Every point is huge for us.
The Stars will continue their push at home against the Pacific Division leading and the NHL’s best San Jose Sharks on Thursday at American Airlines Center. The game is scheduled for 8pm and will be shown on Fox Sports Net Southwest and radio broadcast on WBAP-AM 820.
Image: Courtesy of Getty Images via Yahoo Sports
Quotes: Courtesy of Dallas Stars website
Original Boxscore: Courtesy of NHL.com
Ken Armer is the NHL Community Coordinator for Bleacher Report and also serves as the Community Leader for the Dallas Stars. He can be contacted on his profile or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.