Dec 19, 2011, 11:18 PM EDT
The Dallas Stars keep finding ways to win – even with Kari Lehtonen on the shelf – while the Anaheim Ducks have little to be happy about aside from Teemu Selanne. That’s the short version of why the Stars topped the Ducks 5-3 to take the Pacific Division lead and bury Anaheim deeper in the cellar.
Things started off swimmingly for the Stars as they raced out to a 3-0 lead. Penalties reared their ugly head for Dallas once again, though, as they allowed two goals on the man advantage and an even strength tally as Anaheim tied things up.
Dallas took over in the third, though, which is becoming a common theme for a team that often thrives in close games. Michael Ryder and Eric Nystrom beat a Jonas Hiller who hasn’t looked like the same All-Star goalie since that disturbing bout with vertigo-like symptoms to give Dallas a decisive 5-3 victory. (Richard Bachman is now 4-1 as an NHL netminder, by the way.)
Selanne continues to produce wondrous results (a goal and an assist tonight) in a far-from-wonderful situation. The Versus gang revealed that his nine-game points streak is the longest ever run by a 41-year-old player. The Finnish Flash also passed Stars great Mike Modano for 27th all-time in scoring with 1,375 points.
Bruce Boudreau seemed to employ deft timing by calling a timeout when it was 3-0, but it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the Ducks’ biggest issues have little to do with X’s and O’s. Their stars aren’t rising to the occasion and their depth players are falling flat, which essentially makes Anaheim the polar opposite of their hated rivals in Dallas right now.
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