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Loui Eriksson's second career hat trick sends Stars over Ducks 5-3

DALLAS - Loui Eriksson scored three goals, and with a couple of favourable bounces the Dallas Stars left winger could have collected a few more.

Eriksson had to be satisfied with his second career hat trick as the Stars beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-3 on Thursday night. Eriksson's first goal came while the Stars were short-handed. He added a pair of even-strength goals in the second period to help Dallas win consecutive games for the first time since home victories over New Jersey and Carolina on Nov. 21 and 23.

Eriksson had an opportunity for a fourth goal with eight minutes left, but his shot on a short-handed breakaway glanced off the right goal post. He was credited with seven shots on goal, and had five others that missed the net.

"I had a lot more chances out there," Eriksson said. "But it's always fun to score a hat trick, especially when you win."

The week was eventful for Eriksson, named to Sweden's Olympic team for the first time last Sunday.

"It's huge to play in the Olympics for your home country and it's going to be fun to play in Canada, too," Eriksson said.

Brad Richards had a power-play goal and two assists, and Stephane Robidas added a goal for the Stars, 8-1-2 in their last 11 at home as they try to climb into playoff contention.

"We need to put some wins in the bank," Richards said. "It's going to be a fight right to the end."

Saku Koivu scored twice, and Mike Brown added a goal for the Ducks.

Dallas' Trevor Daley was serving a high-sticking penalty when Eriksson opened the scoring 6:16 in. Mike Ribeiro skated the puck out of the Dallas zone and into a 2-on-1 with Eriksson, who converted Ribeiro's centring pass for the Stars' third short-handed tally of the season.

Anaheim tied it at one at 15:29 when Koivu lifted a loose puck over sprawling goalie Marty Turco.

The Ducks went in front 2-1 at 2:15 of the second period when Brown's shot from the right circle got through Turco's pads.

Eriksson tied it at 6:19 when he skated hard to the net with Anaheim's Sheldon Brookbank draped over him. Brookbank was called for a delayed penalty as Eriksson's backhander went in off the skate of goalie Jonas Hiller.

"I think he kicked the puck into the net, so it was pretty lucky," Eriksson said.

Robidas put Dallas in front 30 seconds later when his shot from the right point pinballed off Ducks defenceman Nick Boynton's skate and into the net.

Eriksson's 16th goal gave the Stars a 4-2 edge at 11:58 of the second off a setup by Richards.

"Somewhere along the way in the first period we lost our composure," Anaheim forward Bobby Ryan said. "These games should be easy to get up for, and for whatever reason we're not coming through."

Dallas could have carried an even bigger lead into the final period if the Stars had capitalized on a few of their other prime scoring opportunities.

"As a team we had tons of chances, and that's why we took over the game," Richards said. "We could have scored more, but scoring five is a lot in this league."

The Stars held a 19-10 shots advantage in the second period, which Ducks coach Randy Carlyle called "probably our worst period of the year."

"When you give up 19 shots, and they had more chances than shots ... we just didn't seem to be able to get a hold of the puck," Carlyle said

Richards extended the lead to 5-2 at 13:46 of the third on a shot that deflected off the stick of Anaheim's James Wisniewski while Dallas had a man advantage.

Koivu's second of the night got Anaheim within 5-3 at 17:07.

NOTES: Dallas D Mark Fistric was activated off the injured list after missing five games because of a concussion. ... Ducks F Teemu Selanne is expected to return to the lineup next week. Selanne has been out since Dec. 3 when he broke a bone in his left hand in Dallas. ... Dallas hosted a game on New Year's Eve for the 12th straight season. The Stars have four hat tricks on that date. ... Anaheim opened a three-game trip. ... Eriksson's short-handed goal was the second of his career. His first came last New Year's Eve. ... Anaheim C Ryan Getzlaf sat out his second straight game because of a deep cut on his leg. ... Dallas is 5-1-3 against Anaheim over the last two seasons.


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