Kari Lehtonen barely had to move an inch with the Ducks on the power play. When the Dallas Stars netminder did have to move, he was in perfect position nearly every time.
Corey Perry’s ninth goal of the season was the only tally for the Ducks in a 2-1 loss at American Airlines Center. It was the second one-goal loss in as many games for Anaheim, which travels to Minnesota to face the Wild tomorrow.
With the Ducks skating 5-on-4, Perry’s 10-foot wrist shot completed a give-and-go with Selanne at 8:29 of the middle period to knot the game at 1. Unfortunately for the Ducks, it was the only man-advantage goal in 10:29 of power-play time. Randy Carlyle tried a switch to start the second period, sending out the second line of Jason Blake, Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne on a power-play that carried over from the first period, to no avail.
Anaheim fared slightly better on the penalty kill, at least in the third period, when Dallas spent six of the final 10 minutes on the man advantage. The return of Todd Marchant from an upper-body injury certainly helped, as did the steady play of blueliners Toni Lydman and Andreas Lilja.
The game turned on a Brad Richards breakaway goal at 8:24 of the third period.
Rookie defenseman Cam Fowler, wearing his new jersey #4, had only one giveaway all game, but it gave Richards an odd-man rush through the neutral zone. His shot through from the left circle clanged off the post, off Jonas Hiller’s pad and over the goal line before the goalie covered up. A video review confirmed the goal (which was announced by referee Marcus Vinnerborg – the first European-trained official to join an NHL crew).
Hiller also allowed a breakaway power-play goal to Steve Ott at 14:43 of the first period, finishing with 24 saves on 26 shots. Lehtonen was one better. He withstood a pair of point-blank chances by Bobby Ryan as the second period closed, as well as a 6-on-5 shift in the final minute with Hiller on the bench.
It was the first loss for the Ducks in three meetings between the teams this season.