Stars take over wild-card spot with 3-2 win over Ducks
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Roope Hintz and Jacob Peterson scored in the third period to help the Dallas Stars rally for a 3-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.
Radek Faksa had a goal, Jake Oettinger made 26 saves and the Stars moved one point ahead of Vegas for the second wild-card from the Western Conference with three games in hand.
“Of course everyone knows we have to get these points, so I don’t think you have to hear that from anybody,” Hintz said. “Everybody should know that, so every game, every shift is huge right now, so we just have to keep playing like that.”
Troy Terry scored his 31st goal, Derek Grant had a goal and an assist, and the Ducks lost their 10th straight game. Trevor Zegras had two assists and John Gibson allowed three goals on 32 shots for Anaheim, which is 0-8-2 since defeating San Jose on March 6.
“Obviously losing 10 in a row is not fun for anybody involved,” Zegras said. “Honestly, I just feel bad for Gibby, one of the best goalies in the league and he’s going to stand on his head like he did tonight, and we kind of throw that at him in the third period.”
Peterson finished off a 2-on-1 break from John Klingberg to put the Stars in front 3-2 with 7:24 remaining, beating Gibson between his legs with a backhand. It was Peterson’s fifth game-winning goal this season.
“He’s making plays out there, right?” Dallas forward Jason Robertson said. “He has that confidence, and stuff’s working, and the puck seems to find him right now.”
Hintz was alone in the slot to bury a one-timer from Robertson to tie it up 2-all at 8:48 of the third.
“I think it’s just sticking to what we do,” Robertson said. “Gosh, we had a lot of chances in the second period and in the third period, we had chances. ... It’s just one of those games their goalie made some really good saves, but we were able to get one past him.”
After a sluggish start, Anaheim came charging back in the second period. Grant tied it up 1-all at 3:54, centering the puck from his knees where it struck the skate of Dallas defenseman Esa Lindell and went in.
Terry put the home team ahead 2-1 midway through the period, with the movement of his wobbly shot from the high slot catching Oettinger by surprise.
The Stars went in front with 5:55 left in the first period on Faksa’s fourth goal, with Michael Raffl pouncing on a turnover in the neutral zone to allow Faksa and Luke Glendening to break the other way. Faksa beat Gibson at the far post after getting him to commit with a clever fake to the forehand.
Zegras nearly sent it to overtime with a sharp-angle shot that hit the post inside the final 10 seconds.
“We’re not happy to be in this position,” said Zegras, who has 33 assists this season with five coming in the past four games. “I mean, our circumstances doesn’t really matter. ... Like, can’t lose 10 in a row. I’m a big part of that, I know that. We’ve got a lot of guys that aren’t happy with it, so try to figure it out here moving forward.”
FANS IN THE STANDS
Hintz’s parents attended the game, and Robertson had an extensive cheering section, including his parents and brother.
“They don’t really have the opportunity to come watch me play,” said Robertson, who grew up in Arcadia, California, 36 miles north of Orange County. “Think it’s the first time my brother Michael has watched me play in six years, five years. Obviously my nephew’s never watched me play. ... Today was a little more special because they were able to make it.”
Gibson turned in another strong performance, including making consecutive pad saves to deny Joe Pavelski from close range with 12 minutes remaining, but he had to take the loss for his ninth straight start.
“It’s one of the better games I’ve ever seen him play in terms of plays that should be goals. And, I mean, he made four or five saves that I’m just sitting on the bench shaking my head, so definitely pretty devastating to not get the win for him,” Zegras said.
NOTES: Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen played for the first time since March 2. He was on the ice for 19:56 after missing 11 games because of mononucleosis. ... Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen made his Anaheim debut after being acquired from Boston as part of the trade for defenseman Hampus Lindholm. Vaakanainen, a first-round draft pick in 2017, had one shot in 18:47.
It will be a rematch between the Stars and Ducks in Anaheim on Thursday night.
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