Monday, April 28, 2014
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Ducks Tie Game Late, Eliminate Stars In OT

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[April 28, 2014]  DALLAS  After losing in the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Anaheim Ducks wanted to avoid a similar fate in their first-round series against the Dallas Stars.

Thanks to two goals in the final 2:10 of regulation and another early in overtime Sunday, Anaheim is on to the second round.

In stunning fashion, Ducks beat the Dallas Stars 5-4 Sunday night at American Airlines Center to win the opening-round series four games to two.

"Well, I wasn't confident at all," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said of his mindset with three minutes remaining in regulation. "You're always hopeful in your belief and you're talking on the bench to believe, but deep down you don't really think it's going to happen."

Center Nick Bonino scored twice, once late in the third and again 2:47 into overtime for Anaheim, which also received two goals from right winger Devante Smith-Pelly.

"Stay the course," Bonino said of the Ducks' attitude when trailing late. "I think we've come back a lot this season. We've had one of the best comeback records. No one was down. I think we believed the whole time. It's easy to say that now, but we have a lot of character, and it showed."

Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller stopped all 12 shots he faced in relief of starter Frederik Andersen, who was lifted midway through the second.

"He played great," Boudreau said of Hiller. "He's come in twice in this series and hasn't given up a goal in over three periods. It's the stuff we knew he could do."


The Stars seemed to have the game in hand when they led 4-2 with less than three minutes remaining in regulation.

Bonino scored with 2:10 remaining, and Smith-Pelly tied it with his second of the game with 24 seconds left. Smith-Pelly's goal came after the Ducks pulled Hiller with a minute to go.

Defenseman Trevor Daley scored in each of the first two periods for Dallas, his second goal giving the home team a 4-2 edge.

"Sometimes hockey is cruel," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "It was cruel, really cruel to a group of guys that worked as hard as they possibly could tonight."

Stars center Cody Eakin (goal, assist) and defenseman Alex Goligoski (two assists) each chipped in two points. Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped 25 of 30 shots.

Daley opened the scoring by converting on a breakaway 5:16 into the game. He left the penalty box six seconds before scoring.

Daley picked up a free puck near the Anaheim blue line after Dallas center Shawn Horcoff cleared the puck from the Stars red line. Daley then raced in, and after forcing Andersen to go low with a great fake, he finished top shelf to make it 1-0.

The Stars then doubled their lead at 10:27 of the first when Eakin scored a power-play goal with a one-timer from the low slot. Eakin's shot went through Andersen's five-hole to make it 2-0.

Anaheim cut it to 2-1 at 17:57 of the first when Smith-Pelly scored on a tap-in with the Ducks on the power play.

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Dallas answered just over a minute later when center Ryan Garbutt scored off a rebound, his third goal of the playoffs, with 59 seconds remaining before the first intermission.

The Ducks cut Dallas' lead to one goal again early in the second when defenseman Ben Lovejoy whistled a wrister past Lehtonen's short side to make it 3-2. After Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne stole the puck from Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon from behind the Dallas net, he fed Lovejoy for the goal. Lehtonen appeared to be screened by Dallas left winger Jamie Benn.

Once again, the Stars answered. Again, it was Daley when he finished another breakaway on Andersen with precision, this time firing one top shelf to the far post at 10:33 of the second.

The second Daley goal sent Andersen to the bench as Hiller relieved him for the second straight game in Dallas.

Dallas missed a golden opportunity late in the second when rookie right wing Valeri Nichushkin had a breakaway with 25 seconds remaining. Nichushkin's wrister rang off the crossbar.

Selanne, 43, recorded two assists in his final game in Dallas, making him the second-oldest player in NHL history to record a multiple-assist game in the playoffs.

Andersen was removed after saving eight of the 12 shots he faced.

NOTES: Anaheim will face either the San Jose Sharks or the Los Angeles Kings in the second round of the playoffs. San Jose holds a 3-2 series lead heading into Game 6 on Monday in Los Angeles. ... Ducks RW Emerson Etem, RW Tim Jackman (hand), D Hampus Lindholm (neck), C Kyle Palmieri, C Mathieu Perreault (lower body) and D Stephane Robidas (leg fracture) were scratched. Perreault was replaced in the lineup by C Daniel Winnik, a healthy scratch in Game 5. ... Stars C Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat), D Kevin Connauton, C Dustin Jeffrey, D Aaron Rome and LW Ray Whitney were scratched. LW Erik Cole, a healthy scratch the previous three games, returned in place of Whitney. ... The goal by Ducks D Ben Lovejoy early in the second period was the first of his career in the playoffs. ... Stars D Trevor Daley posted his first career two-goal playoff game. ... The announced attendance was 19,323, a sellout.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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