DALLAS – The Stars weren’t happy with how they finished their just concluded five-game road trip with a lopsided loss in New Jersey against the Devils. They were much more enthused with how they finished the start of their three-game homestand.
After blowing a three-goal second-period lead, Michael Ryder snapped a third-period tie to help give the Stars a spirited 5-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday at American Airlines Center.
“People say when you come back from the road the first game’s like a hangover,” Ryder said. “We stuck with it, and we got the lead. They managed to tie it, but we had a great third and came out with two points, which is huge.”
It was the first time the Stars had scored five goals in a game since a 5-2 victory at Washington on Nov. 8, and a big change from Friday’s 6-3 loss to the Devils in which they were unable to sweep a three-game set in the New York City area against New Jersey, the New York Islanders, and the New York Rangers that capped their cross-country road trip.
“Our message between the second and third was that we can’t do it with a strike of lightning,” coach Glen Gulutzan said. “We have to do it together, and the guys did that over the last 20.”
The Stars seemed destined to cruise to an easy win over an Anaheim (9-19-5) team that came in on a franchise-worst 11-game road losing streak (0-8-3), and a goalie -- Jonas Hiller -- that had lost his last eight road starts. Morrow, Goligoski and Ribeiro obliged by scoring in the first 22 minutes of the game to get things started and give Dallas a lightning-quick 3-0 advantage.
The Ducks, though, were able to erase the deficit on power-play goals by Teemu Selanne and Lubomir Visnovsky, and an even-strength tally by Nick Bonino in the second stanza that sent the game into the third period tied at 3.
But after taking 17 shots over the first two periods, the Stars blitzed Hiller and Co. with 16 third-period shots, with Ryder and Nystrom making their attempts count to help Dallas secure its fourth win in the past five games.
“We gave them a few chances on the power play, and that kind of swung the momentum,” said rookie Richard Bachman, who finished with 25 saves in his fifth consecutive start. “We knew going into the third period if we could sustain some pressure in their end, things would go our way.”
Things certainly did, starting with Ryder notching the winner with his 11th goal of the season 6:42 into the third. From the slot, he snapped home Loui Eriksson’s feed from behind the goal line to make it 4-3, then Nystrom gave the Stars some cushion with his 11th of the year, a one-timer from the left circle with 5:41 to go in regulation.
“We knew if we stuck to our game plan we could eventually wear them down, and that’s exactly what happened,” Nystrom said. “We stuck to it, played our game, kept getting it in, and eventually wore them down and got our breaks.”
Up by a goal after the first period, the Stars pushed their lead to 2-0 just 1:19 into the second period when Goligoski popped in his third of the season with Dallas enjoying its second two-man advantage of the game. From the right point, Goligoski sent a shot toward the net that wound up squirting past a partially screened Hiller.
Ribeiro then made it 3-0 with another power-play goal 24 seconds later thanks in large part to a nifty maneuver by Morrow. From the right point, the Stars captain smartly shot the puck deliberately wide so it would bounce off the end boards to the other wing. Ribeiro promptly collected the puck in the left circle and ripped a shot past Hiller.
Selanne started the Ducks comeback with a power-play goal at 4:30 of the second to make it 3-1. After accepting a pass from Corey Perry at the goal line, Selanne skated to the left faceoff dot before wristing a shot past Bachman on the short side.
Visnovsky closed the gap to 3-2 with a power-play goal with 5:11 remaining in the second. From the middle of the blue line, his slap shot went off the shaft of Vernon Fiddler’s stick and wound up bouncing past Bachman.
Selanne got an assist on the goal, and coupled with his goal earlier he moved past former Dallas center Mike Modano and into sole possession of 22nd place on the NHL’s all-time scoring list with 1,375 points.
Bonino completed the Ducks second-period rally and tied the game at 3 with his first goal of the year with 1:33 left in the middle frame. In the high slot, he deflected Cam Fowler’s slap shot from the slot.
“In this league leads can diminish pretty quick,” Ryder said. “They kept coming at us, and momentum changes back and forth. They did that, but it was still a tie game and we were still in it.”
Dallas struck first when Morrow scored his seventh of the year midway through the first period. On a mini 2-on-1, Morrow sent a feed to Ribeiro on the left wing before one-timing Ribeiro’s return pass in the right circle past Hiller.
It was Morrow’s third straight game in which he scored a goal, and he’s registered seven points in the six games since he returned from an injury. The Stars are 4-2-0 in that span.
“When he was sitting out, this is what we wanted to transpire…we get a healthy captain back,” Gulutzan said. “We kind of stumbled around there without him, so to have him back and play his game has been a huge lift for our group.”
The Stars continue their three-game homestand on Wednesday when they host the Atlantic Division-leading Philadelphia Flyers in a nationally televised cable game (6:30 p.m., VERSUS). The Flyers were blanked 6-0 by the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
-- When Perry was whistled for slashing Jamie Benn with 28 seconds left in the first period, and Luca Sbisa already sitting in the penalty box for the Ducks, it gave the Stars their very first two-man advantage of the season. Dallas was the last team in the league to go on a two-man advantage.
-- Eriksson’s assist on Goligoski’s goal extended his points streak against Anaheim to eight games. Eriksson finished with a pair of helpers on the night.
-- Morrow passed Bill Goldsworthy for ninth on the Stars all-time franchise points list with 507.
-- Nystrom tied his career high in goals, equaling the 11 tallies he registered with Calgary in 2009-10.
-- Dallas has collected a point in six consecutive games against the Ducks (4-0-2).
-- The Stars improved to 10-4-1 at home, and will play five of their next six games at American Airlines Center.
-- The Ducks fell to 0-9-3 in their last 12 on the road, and 1-5-0 in their last six overall.