ANAHEIM—Ryan Getzlaf’s fight in Game Two after a serious injury showed that hockey players have a huge heart to win. Forty-eight hours after having several stitches to his face after receiving a slapshot from Tyler Seguin, the Ducks captain scored a goal and recorded an assist in Anaheim’s 3-2 win over Dallas taking a 2-0 series lead.
The team was bruised, but ready to play against the Stars in what would be a better showing from the Texas team that could play spoiler in the first round of playoffs, if Anaheim had any reason to let that happen. One thing that couldn’t be helped was the Stars fight to get on the board first as they attacked Frederik Andersen seeing the net for the second game after a terrific showing two days ago. He dealt with the offensive attack from Dallas’ first two lines where no cheap goals were going to be allowed by the Dane. He couldn’t hold off everything as the Stars set up a smart play from behind the Ducks net where Jamie Benn slide the puck out to teammate Alex Chiasson to score on the team’s first power play.
With a hold on the score and puck possession it showed a slow start from the Ducks getting control of time with the puck instead of chasing it. They eventually caught a break late where a chance to tie was conducted by Captain Getzlaf who decked Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen on the glove side to beat him low and tie the game with 2:46 left in the period. Though they were outshot 11-10 a statement being made was enough to make it an even game after 20 minutes with more action on the way.
It would be the Ducks who would arrive late on the offense for the second time as Dallas countered on a takeaway where Trevor Daley saved possession on a deflection in their zone to prevent a bad beat. The actions of the defenseman helped the morale of Dallas’ offense. Seven minutes into the second period they had the best attack on even strength where it sawAnaheim scrambling around Andersen who pulled off two minutes of defense to keep the game status quo.
Having enough of being on defense, it became time to get back to what the Ducks do best…score. Corey Perry made that possible, as he countered on a bad pass from Seguin to Benn where the veteran right-winger took off and fired a shot from the faceoff dot that pinged off the post and sent the horn blaring through the ears of Ducks fans who celebrated the lead with four minutes left. The Stars made one last attempt to even the game on their fourth opportunity with the extra man, they put serious strain on the Anaheimdefense recording scoring chances, but no goal to even the score.
The third became the major factor for Dallas to make a charge in order to even the series. With little energy left in the tank, the Dallas Stars started losing gas. It cost them dearly on the power play, where a loss of the puck in their zone found the stick of Getzlaf who made the pass to Andrew Cogliano firing high on the slot of Lehtonen while shorthanded giving the Duck a 3-1 lead. The two goal lead only held its ground for four minutes as the Stars wanted desperately to stay within distance of stealing the game away. Ryan Garbutt put Dallas within a goal as his wrister out front to give him his first postseason goal.
With half the period left, Andersen knew that his game would have to be at its best with anything being possible in the playoffs. His first action came with seven left where he laid out his body on the left side of the net denying Dallas an opportunity at the net. He kept up the human wall throughout the period coming close to his second playoff win. The Stars pulled Lehtonen with 90 seconds on the clock hoping to clinch another 20 minutes at winning the game, they were still down a goal and the Ducks defense was standing tall in front of them. The Stars failed to find an open shot in the Ducks zone leaving them no choice to accept defeat once again.
With Andersen on a hot streak for the Ducks, he would assuredly see game 3 as closing out the series halfway from its conclusion. The rookie made 34 saves with a .944 save percentage, but wasn’t the only hero of the night. Aside from being taken to the hospital for his facial laceration, he had more reasons to stick around. On Friday morning, he welcomed his third child, giving another reason to be a hero. He won’t have much time to enjoy his new bundle of joy, as the Ducks pack up for a two-game stint in Dallas beginning on Monday night.