ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Dallas Stars figured it was only a matter of time until the breaks fell their way. They just hope it’s not too late.
Mike Ribeiro scored twice and the Stars helped their playoff hopes with a 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.
“You have to find a way to win, and today we did,” Ribeiro said. “We got the bounces that we needed.”
Stars captain Brenden Morrow had a goal and two assists, and Jeff Woywitka added a goal and an assist for Dallas, which snapped a six-game losing streak while surviving the Ducks’ late 6-on-4 attack.
“There were some anxious moments there at the end,” Morrow said. “We’re in desperation mode, and every point means something.”
Corey Perry scored his NHL-leading 47th goal, and Ryan Getzlaf and Lubomir Visnovsky both added a goal for Anaheim, which would have clinched a playoff spot with a regulation win.
Ribeiro gave Dallas a 4-2 lead at 15:04 of the second period. The Ducks had a pair of potential tying goals taken away in the final 2:04 of the third on an interference call and a hand pass.
“We don’t feel very good about the calls that went against us,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We made some mistakes in the game, but not for a lack of effort.”
The Stars had dropped eight of nine to tumble out of the top eight in the Western Conference, but they are still in the playoff hunt. Dallas has 89 points, three shy of No. 8 Chicago, with Calgary in between. The Stars and Blackhawks both have two games in hand over the Flames.
The Ducks thought they had forced overtime on Teemu Selanne’s redirection, but the goal was negated because of interference by Saku Koivu. Bobby Ryan’s goal with 1:47 to go was disallowed because of Perry’s illegal assist.
“I don’t think (Perry) deliberately attempted to pass it to me with his hand,” Ryan said. “He tried to put it down and make a play at the net. I thought it hit a few things, a stick and some skates, but obviously the referee saw it differently.”
The Stars fell behind 1-0 in the first period before scoring four of the next five goals. Morrow put Dallas ahead 3-2 with his team-leading 29th goal at 7:20 of the second when Jamie Langenbrunner fed him for a one-timer that beat goalie Ray Emery.
Ribeiro scored his second of the night on the power play at 15:04 of the second, deflecting in the puck from close range 23 seconds after Ducks defenceman Toni Lydman was called for high-sticking.
The Ducks were again down a man later in the period, but Perry scored a short-handed goal to cut Anaheim’s deficit to 4-3. It stayed that way because the Ducks couldn’t convert in the final minute despite having two extra skaters, with Dallas’ Jamie Benn serving a slashing penalty and Emery off the ice.
Kari Lehtonen made 24 saves in his 19th consecutive start to help Dallas finish its road trip 1-3-1.
“There’s no quit in this team,” Stars coach Marc Crawford said. “We’re still in the race, and you just have to keep coming out and having performances like this.”
Anaheim had been one of the NHL’s hottest teams lately, but the Ducks lost for the second straight night. Anaheim, No. 7 in the West, squandered a two-goal lead on Saturday and lost 4-2 to San Jose.
“At this time of year, it’s tough to dwell on,” Ryan said. “You have to just put it in the past.”
Getzlaf opened the scoring at 12:33 after a turnover by the Stars in their end. Perry centred the puck to Ryan, who backhanded it to Getzlaf.
Woywitka tied it at 10:13, and Ribeiro scored from the doorstep after the Ducks failed to clear the puck with 2:53 left in the period.
Visnovsky tied it 2-2 moments later following a scramble in front. A bad clear by defenceman Alex Goligoski led to Visnovsky’s goal from a tight angle.
NOTES: Dallas had lost four straight at Anaheim. … Visnovsky’s 18 goals are a club record for defencemen. … Emery was nominated by the Professional Hockey Writers Association for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given annually to the NHL player who exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the sport.