ANAHEIM, Calif. – Although the Dallas Stars traded two of their top four scorers in the two days since their last meeting with Anaheim, the Ducks didn’t take them less seriously in the rematch.
The departures of Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy actually made the Stars look more dangerous to the Ducks, and the Pacific Division leaders responded accordingly.
Captain Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists, and Teemu Selanne scored his 673rd career goal in the Ducks’ 5-2 victory over Dallas on Wednesday night.
Viktor Fasth made 23 saves and Radek Dvorak scored his first goal for Anaheim in the second of three straight meetings in five days between the first-place Ducks and the last-place Stars, who lost 4-0 in Dallas on Monday. While the Stars are young and improving, the Ducks are sitting on a double-digit lead atop the division with 11 games to play, closing in on a post-season berth and just their second Pacific title in two decades of existence.
“Teams that make trades and do the sell-off are so tough to play down the stretch,” Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Experience tells me when you bring in a lot of new guys, young guys especially, they play with so much energy. … To beat any team three times in a row is difficult, but we’re going to try.”
Kyle Palmieri snapped a 13-game goal drought and Andrew Cogliano scored an empty-net goal as the Ducks improved the NHL’s third-best record to 25-7-5 and closed within two points of the league-leading Chicago Blackhawks.
Getzlaf had the fourth three-point game in his outstanding season for Anaheim, which is 3-0-1 since a four-game losing streak last month.
Getzlaf briefly left the ice after bending his right leg awkwardly while tied up with Jamie Benn in the third period, but returned to score his 150th career goal on a perfectly placed backhand set up by Corey Perry. Boudreau then gave the rest of the night off to his leading scorer.
“He’s one of the best passers in the league,” Dvorak said of Getzlaf, who assisted on his first-period goal with a pinpoint pass from the far boards. “As soon as I see he has the puck, I just try to get open. … We knew it was going to be a tough game. They were coming hard tonight. They made a lot of changes and had a lot of young guys, and they had a lot of energy.”
Lane MacDermid scored his first NHL goal in his Dallas debut, and Kari Lehtonen stopped 22 shots in the Stars’ first game since trading Jagr to Boston and Roy to Vancouver. Erik Cole also scored for the Stars, who have lost three straight.
With the departures of Jagr and Roy, Alex Chiasson made his NHL debut for Dallas and centre Ryan Garbutt returned from a nine-game absence with an injured wrist. High-scoring left wing Loui Eriksson also played centre for the Stars.
“It’s tough to find the good stuff in a loss like that,” Dallas defenceman Stephane Robidas said. “There are a lot of new faces, young guys that had their first experience with us, and I thought they did really well.”
Fasth, who shut out Dallas earlier this week, blanked Dallas through the first 42 minutes Wednesday before Cole scored. MacDermid, acquired from the Bruins in the Jagr deal, got his first NHL goal with 1:24 to play.
“I thought all of the guys had a lot of energy and tried to do all the little things right,” MacDermid said. “We did that for the most part, but they made some good plays.”
After adding veterans Dvorak and David Steckel last month, the Ducks made only two moves at the trade deadline, acquiring centre Matthew Lombardi from Phoenix and shipping out third-string goalie Jeff Deslauriers in separate deals.
Anaheim showed little fatigue in its 22nd game in 39 days, controlling early play and going ahead on the goal by Dvorak, a 17-year NHL veteran who signed with Anaheim on March 24. The Czech forward had been playing in Switzerland this winter after scoring 21 points in 73 games for Dallas last season.
Selanne scored his 251st power-play goal in the second period when a drop pass by Getzlaf deflected to him for a nasty wrist shot. Selanne endured a nine-game goal drought in March, but the 42-year-old Finnish Flash has scored at least 10 goals for the 20th consecutive season.
Palmieri added his added his eighth goal of the season five minutes later, easily moving past stationary defenceman Aaron Rome. The Ducks’ promising scorer hadn’t found the net in his last 13 games since getting a hat trick Feb. 27 against Nashville.
NOTES: The 6-foot-4 Chiasson was a second-round pick in 2009 before playing three seasons at Boston University. Chiasson hit Anaheim’s Matt Beleskey squarely in the face with his stick blade early in the third period, but wasn’t penalized while Beleskey went to the dressing room. … The Ducks traded C Brandon McMillan to Phoenix for Lombardi, who wasn’t in town to face Dallas. McMillan never solidified a spot in the Ducks’ lineup over the past three years despite numerous chances to stick in Anaheim. He played in six games with Anaheim this season, spending most of the last two years in the AHL.