Having lost their last six games in a row in Dallas, Anaheim brought their four game winning streak to Texas and after one of the most unique games in recent memory, escaped with the extra second point by defeating the Stars in the shootout. Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getlaf each put the puck over Kari Lehtonen’s blocker to give Anaheim the 2-1 victory.
The Stars appeared to dominate the game, actually out shooting the Ducks and winning in the faceoff circle. However, and let me just get this out of the way now, the “Hockey Gods” were not favorable toward Dallas. After the game had been tied half way through the second period by Andrew Cogliano, it appeared that Stars center, Derek Roy gave the Stars their one-goal lead back, however, Marc Joannette emphatically waved the goal off as he had blown the whistle as he lost sight of the puck when Jonas Hiller lunged toward the puck. What Joannette was unable to see was Hiller was unable to secure the puck so he blew the whistle, stopping the play just as Roy pushed the puck over the flattened Hiller.
With that said, after having a very successful week last week, the Stars power play has gone as cold as the ice they skate on, going 0-for-5 on the evening, and according to head coach, Glen Gulutzan, “gave up 6 or 7 chances when we were on the power play.” You can’t expect to win in the National Hockey League when the shorthanded team generates more chances when they’re on the kill.
In what had to be the oddest moment of the game, actually happened on two separate occasions. First, Reilly Smith, who has made a name for himself in his short career for having the most close call goals of any player I have ever seen, had a point blank shot make it past a sprawled out Jonas Hiller but the puck rode up the near post and rattled off the crossbar.
Moments later, Jaromir Jagr appeared to have given the Stars the lead on the power play, in fact, the whole fanfare of lights and goal song started to rain down, however, once again the official was in a position to immediately wave off the goal. Jagr, who was down on the ice looked up as if to say, “Not again,” thinking the referee missed a sure goal. Once the whistle was blown, the replay showed that the puck also got behind Hiller and again went post-crossbar and squirted out from under the Anaheim netminder’s pads.
The beautiful aspect of this game is that some nights, talent and skill are not simply enough to get the W. A little luck in the world of hockey goes a very long way. But the “Hockey Gods” also have a way to of repaying those who remain faithful. As Craig Ludwig stated on the post game show, “If the Stars can repeat this performance and beat the Blackhawks who come in here on Saturday, Dallas gets 3 out of 4 points against the two top teams in the league, and that’s a statement.”
Your move, “Hockey Gods.”