ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Ducks aren’t dead yet. The defending Stanley Cup champions were quite a lively bunch in forcing Game 6 against the Stars.
Teemu Selanne, Ryan Getzlaf and Sean O’Donnell each had a goal and an assist to lead Anaheim to a 5-2 victory over Dallas on Friday night. That trimmed the Stars’ lead in the first-round series to 3-2. Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 40 saves for the Ducks, who got off 31 shots at Marty Turco.
“I guess desperation is descriptive,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said of the Ducks’ performance. “I thought Giguere was the best player on the ice tonight.
“We could have easily taken ourselves right out of the game without the effort of our penalty killers and our goaltending.”
Noting that the Ducks suffered one-sided defeats in the opening two games in Anaheim, Giguere said he thought Game 5 was entertaining and, “We probably owed that one to our fans. Hopefully, they got their money’s worth.”
Game 6 is Sunday in Dallas. A seventh game would be in Anaheim on Tuesday.
The Stars, who lost Game 3 in Dallas, are in a 1-7 slump in home playoff games and have not won a post-season series since a first-round triumph in 2003.
The Stars’ Brad Richards said they must play with a sense of urgency, same as the Ducks did.
“They were a very desperate team and obviously when you are down 3-1 there’s no room for error,” he said. “We have to get our mentality the same way.
“We can’t be thinking in the back of our minds that we have a couple more chances. We have to match the desperation and that’s how you finish off a playoff series.”
Anaheim scored three times in the third period to break open a tight, physical game.
“We would have loved to have done it tonight,” Turco said. “Certainly our effort was there. It was enough, but we let in too many chances. Now we’ll get a pretty good crack at it at home.”
After Mike Ribeiro pulled the Stars within 3-2 at 4:41 of the third, defenceman O’Donnell built the lead back to two when he scored at 12:05. Todd Marchant added an empty-net goal with 1:24 remaining.
Chris Pronger and Chris Kunitz added two assists apiece for Anaheim.
Kunitz set up O’Donnell’s score that gave the Ducks some breathing room. Behind the goal, Kunitz slid the puck to O’Donnell in front of the crease and he flicked a shot that went over the sprawling Turco’s right leg.
Selanne had given the Ducks a 3-1 lead when they held a two-man advantage at 19:12 of the third. Pronger’s slap shot from the right side bounced off the boards and the puck went straight to Selanne, who was parked on the left of the crease. Selanne one-timed it in before Turco had a chance to react.
Ribeiro got Dallas back into it – albeit not for long – when he scored on a fine individual play. He skated behind the Ducks’ goal, feinted a wraparound to make Giguere commit, then stopped, spun around and flipped the puck over the sprawling goalie.
Getzlaf’s power play goal gave Anaheim a 2-1 lead at 8:57 of the second.
It was tied 1-1 at the end of an especially intense first period, when the Stars got off 15 shots, the Ducks 14, and both goalies made some spectacular saves.
Anaheim’s Corey Perry, in his second game back from a lacerated tendon in his right leg, opened the scoring at 8:25 and Mattias Norstrom tied it at 18:27, just one second after a Dallas power play ended.
Perry, who led the Ducks in goals during the regular season but had been sidelined for six weeks, slid the puck between Turco’s pads on a wrist shot from the right circle.
Norstrom wristed a shot from the left circle over Giguere’s right shoulder and just inside the left post.
Perry had just finished serving a roughing penalty after colliding with Turco behind the Dallas goal, when the Stars’ goalie pinned against the boards, wrapped his arms around Perry. Players from both sides then tangled in a skirmish that led to a string of penalties.
Three Stars and four Ducks drew penalties, including 10-minute misconducts on Dallas’ Brenden Morrow and Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin.
Notes: Only 20 of 219 teams have come back to win an NHL post-season series after being down 3-1. … Dallas D Stephane Robidas left the ice to go to the locker room in the first period after he was struck by in the face by the puck, but he returned shortly afterward. … The Ducks were without C Rob Niedermayer (concussion-like symptoms), and among those missing for Dallas was D Philippe Boucher (lower body injury).