The Stars erupted (if that term is even applicable) for five goals in the third period to defeat the Ducks, 6-3.
And the six goals were from lines other than their top forward line.
“It does a lot [for our confidence] because teams are going to focus on our top line,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “They’re going to focus in on Tyler and [Jamie Benn] and [Valeri Nichushkin], and they’re going to see the best defense most nights. And that’s when other lines have to step up.”
Anaheim had taken a 2-1 lead heading to the second intermission but the house fell in on them in the third as Dallas was relentless.
“It just can’t happen,” Anaheim center Andrew Cogliano said. “We’ve won two games in a row. We’re feeling good. This is a tough building to play in. We’re up 2-1 after the second in a key position. Mental mistakes end up costing us the game. It just can’t happen for a team like us. We could have taken over first place again tonight. Now we have five really tough games coming up and we have to sharpen up.”
Even less pleased was Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau.
“I don’t ever want to say that it’s necessarily unexplainable or it’s one of those things, because I always believe there’s some way we could have prevented that from happening,” Boudreau said. “That’s the first time I think I’ve been on a team that’s had three goals scored on [it] in less than a minute in the third period. This is similar to what happened in Toronto [on Oct. 22]. We just go with some inexperienced guys out there and they go brain dead for a bit.”
Dallas 6, Anaheim 3
LECAVALIER RETURNS TO TAMPA BAY
Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier returns to Tampa Bay, the city where he spent the first 14 seasons of his NHL career, in a national telecast on NHLN-US. The No. 1 overall selection by the Lightning in the 1998 NHL Draft, Lecavalier compiled 383-491—874 in 1,037 regular-season games for the club and served as its captain for the past five seasons. He also totaled 24-28—52 in 63 playoff games, helping the Lightning win their only Stanley Cup in 2003-04.
“I can’t predict how I’m going to feel (today), but it’s definitely going to be weird,” Lecavalier told the Tampa Tribune. “Just to put on the Philadelphia Flyers jersey for the first time was kind of weird. And you get used to it, but to actually play against the Lightning, I don’t know how I’m going to feel. But it’s going to be a special night. I’m really excited about it.”
BRUINS, RED WINGS FACE OFF ON RIVALRY NIGHT
Original Six foes Boston and Detroit meet for the third time this season when they face off on NBCSN’s “Wednesday Night Rivalry” telecast. The clubs split their first two matchups, with the Bruins earning a 4-1 victory Oct. 5 and the Red Wings posting a 3-2 win Oct. 14. Wednesday marks the 582nd all-time regular-season meeting between the clubs; Detroit (250-235-96) holds a 596-570 points advantage in their head-to-head matchups (BOS: 236-247-98).
BLUES VISIT AVALANCHE IN CENTRAL DIVISION BATTLE
The Blues (17-3-3, 37 points) and Avalanche (17-5-0, 34 points), two of the top clubs in the Central Division, face off for the second time this season. St. Louis is 6-2-1 on the road and with a win tonight would etch its best 10-game road start in franchise history. With 34 points, Colorado is off to its best 22-game start in club history; its previous high was 33 points, set in 1994-95 and equaled in 2000-01.
ISLANDERS UNVEIL STADIUM SERIES JERSEYS
The Islanders unveiled their jerseys for the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, which they will wear when they face the Rangers on Jan. 29 at Yankee Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2).
STARS SHINE IN THE THIRD
The Stars scored five third-period goals, including three in a 53-second span, to pick up their fourth victory in their past six games. Ryan Garbutt (1-2—3) recorded his first multi-point game, while Antoine Roussel (2-0—2) posted his first multi-goal game. Dan Ellis made 28 saves in his first start since Oct. 19.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Stars’ three goals in 53 seconds marked the fourth-fastest three-goal outburst in franchise history:
FASTEST THREE GOALS, STARS/NORTH STARS HISTORY
33 seconds: Jan. 20, 1984 at Red Wings (8-5 W)
44 seconds: Oct. 14, 1995 vs. Bruins (6-5 W)
50 seconds: Jan. 17, 1982 vs. Blackhawks (7-5 W)
53 seconds: Nov. 26, 2013 vs. Ducks (6-3 W)
* Before Tuesday, the last time any NHL team scored three goals in 53 or fewer seconds was on Jan. 4, 2012, when the Canadiens did so in a 50-second span of the third period en route to a 7-3 win over the Jets.
* The Stars last scored five or more goals in a period on Feb. 6, 2009, when they tallied six times in the third period of a 10-2 victory over the Rangers.
GONCHAR JOINS EXCLUSIVE LIST
Stars defenseman Sergei Gonchar played in his 1,200th NHL game, becoming the third Russian-born skater (also, Sergei Fedorov and Alex Kovalev) and 96th player all-time to reach the milestone.
Gonchar leads active defensemen in games played, goals (217), assists (562) and points (779). His 779 career points also place 18th all-time among blueliners and tied for eighth all-time among Russian-born players. The 39-year-old native of Chelyabinsk has 0-4—4 in 23 games this season, his 19th in the NHL.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf recorded an assist to extend his point streak to eight games (7-5—12). Getzlaf has 13-15—28 in 24 games this season, three points behind Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (13-18—31 in 25 GP) for the League lead . . . Stars forwards Erik Cole and Vernon Fiddler each collected two assists, while teammate Cody Eakin (1-1—2) also had a multi-point performance . . . The Department of Player Safety suspended Hurricanes forward Kevin Westgarth for two games, without pay, for boarding Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki . . . Wild goaltender Josh Harding is profiled in the Dec. 9 issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.
SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Montreal @ Buffalo, 7:00 p.m., RDS, TSN-HABS, MSG-B
Carolina @ New Jersey, 7:00 p.m., FS-CR, MSG PLUS
Winnipeg @ NY Islanders, 7:00 p.m., TSN-JETS, MSG PLUS 2
Ottawa @ Washington, 7:00 p.m., TSN2, CSN-DC
Nashville @ Columbus, 7:00 p.m., FS-TN, FS-O
Boston @ Detroit, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, NESN, FS-D
Philadelphia @ Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m., NHLN-US, CSN-PH, SUN
NY Rangers @ Florida, 7:30 p.m., MSG, FS-F
Toronto @ Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m., TSN, ROOT
Phoenix @ Minnesota, 8:00 p.m., KTVK, FS-N, FS-WI
St. Louis @ Colorado, 9:00 p.m., FS-MW, ALT2
Chicago @ Calgary, 10:00 p.m., TSN, WGN
Los Angeles @ San Jose, 10:30 p.m., FS-W, CSN-CA
With NHL press release