Ducks rally for 4-3 overtime win over Dallas
When all seemed lost Friday night for the Ducks, defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky stepped up and kept their winning streak and their playoff hopes alive.
Visnovsky completed the first hat trick by a Ducks defenseman in club history by scoring during an overtime power play, ripping a long shot past Kari Lehtonen after Ryan Getzlaf had won an offensive-zone faceoff, to give the Ducks an improbable 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars before a sparse crowd of 12,883 at Honda Center.
The Ducks had pulled even with 63 seconds left in the third period and goaltender Dan Ellis pulled for an extra attacker. Teemu Selanne's 400th goal as a Duck, set up on a short pass from Getzlaf, got the game to overtime and assured the Ducks of at least a point. Ellis made a fine glove save on Trevor Daley late in sudden-death play to keep the Ducks' comeback hopes alive.
Visnovsky had an assist on that goal. He had scored in the first period and again on a one-timer during a power play in the third period. His third goal came with 3.8 seconds left in overtime.
Still struggling to get by without All-Star goaltender Jonas Hiller, who is recovering from a bout with vertigo, the Ducks have nonetheless won three straight games.
The Ducks had scored first, at 9:22 of the first period, after a scrum and minor outbreak of hostilities left the teams skating four on four.
Wingers Dan Sexton and Bobby Ryan worked the puck well along the boards in Dallas’ zone before Ryan fed to Visnovsky in the middle. Visnovsky unleashed one of his typically blistering shots from about 35 feet, and with Sexton crossing in front of Lehtonen the Stars netminder had no chance to stop it.
The Stars were energized in the second period, taking control of the tempo and the game as they took the final nine shots of the period. They scored three straight goals to build a 3-1 lead, a challenge for the Ducks because they hadn’t scored more than three goals in any of their previous six games.
Dallas pulled even early in the middle period on a slick give-and-go between Jamie Benn and recently acquired defenseman Alex Goligoski. Benn dropped the puck for Goligoski, then headed to the net. That put him in perfect position when Goligoski returned the pass, and he quickly redirected it past Ellis at 2:23.
The Stars went end-to-end for their second goal. Adam Burish won a faceoff from Getzlaf in Dallas’ zone and the Stars quickly turned up ice. Jason Williams carried the puck up the right side and passed it through Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin to Burish, who flicked it past Ellis at 11:35.
The Ducks took two penalties late in the period and paid for it when Dallas took a 3-1 lead at 18:37. Mike Ribeiro passed the puck to Stephane Robidas, whose long shot was deflected by Loui Eriksson in the slot.
Visnovsky cut Dallas' lead to 3-2 at 5:26 of the third period, after Getzlaf won the puck along the boards and passed it to Selanne, who in turn fed Visnovsky for a blast from the right side.
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Photo: Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is congratulated by teammates after scoring against Dallas in the first period Friday night at Honda Center. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press