Talk about a quick one-two-three for the Dallas Stars.
Cody Eakin, Stephane Robidas and Ryan Garbutt produced a three-goal flurry in a 53 second span of the third period as the Stars beat the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks 6-3 on Tuesday night for their first home win in more than month.
“We were just still talking on the bench about: ‘OK, it’s a tie game. Let’s get this thing [under control], stay the course, do that,’ and next it’s 3-2,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It just went boom, boom. They got the goal and the crowd got into it, and then the rest is history.”
After giving up a goal to Nick Bonino in the final seconds of the second period that put the Ducks ahead 2-1, Dallas wiped out that deficit with the fastest three-goal stretch in the NHL since January last year.
“You’re thinking that we fought hard to tie it up, and want to go into the third period and try to play a 20 minute period of the win, and now we’re going to chase the game again as soon as we come out, but we were able to turn it, I can tell you a nice story now. Otherwise, we might have blamed the game on that late goal,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.
Eakin’s sixth goal of the season tied it 2-2 with 14 minutes, 35 seconds left. Only 25 seconds later, Robidas was between the circles when he scored his fourth of the season.
Garbutt then gathered a loose puck and scored with a backhanded swipe with 13:42 left to make it 4-2. He did not realize how quickly the trio of goals had come.
“But it was pretty cool,” said Garbutt, who also had two assists.
Fans in the building were suddenly in a frenzy as Boudreau finally called a time-out.
“We might have had to have a little bottle of NoDoz after the first period, but we woke them up in the third,” Ruff said.
Roussel was in the crease when he netted his second goal with just under eight minutes left. Jonas Hiller quickly argued with the referee to no avail, trying to get an interference call.
Dan Ellis stopped 28 shots, winning for only the second time in seven games.
Dallas had been 0-2-2 at home since a 5-1 victory over Calgary on Oct. 24.
Emerson Etem, Nick Bonino and Dustin Penner scored for the Ducks, who are 10-4-3 in their past 17 games. Penner’s tally was a power-play goal with 6:30 left.
“It does happen quickly,” Ducks center Andrew Cogliano said. “When momentum turns and it starts going the other way, it’s really hard to stop it.”
The Stars played the first of three straight home games. The next is tomorrow against the Central Division-leading Chicago Blackhawks, who have an NHL-best 38 points — one more than Anaheim and St Louis.
It was the second of three meetings this season for the former Pacific Division rivals, who used to play six times a season. It was the only trip to Dallas for the Ducks, who won 6-3 at home on Oct. 20 and are due to host the Stars again on Feb. 1.
Hiller, who faced 32 shots, gave up three goals on 12 shots against the Stars in the previous matchup before he was pulled from the game.
Bonino scored his seventh of the season with 36 seconds left in the second period.
He took a pass from Cogliano and the puck went off his skate, before he used his stick to score from the right side of the net for a 2-1 lead.
Etem scored from in front 6:06 into the game to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
Roussel tied it when the puck caromed in off his skate with 6:47 left in the second period. Officials reviewed the goal before ruling that it was not kicked into the net to the left of Hiller after a pass from Vernon Fiddler.