Ducks strike back at Dallas in Game 3
Message to the Dallas Stars: Chris Pronger and the Anaheim Ducks don't like their feathers ruffled in front of their faithful fans.
Determined to rebound from two shocking losses on home ice, Pronger had two goals and one assist as the visiting Ducks prevailed 4-2 over the Stars in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarter-final at American Airlines Center on Tuesday night.
"It was nice to chip in," Pronger said. "We had a lot of guys step up and improve their efforts.
"It was better than it was in Anaheim, that's for sure. We realize the mistakes we made [and] we did a good job correcting those the first 33 or 35 minutes."
Todd Marchant and Ryan Getzlaf scored the other goals for the fourth-ranked Ducks, who suffered 4-0 and 5-2 losses in the first two games at the Honda Center — and squandered home-ice advantage in the process.
Anaheim trails the best-of-seven series 2-1, with Game 4 scheduled for Thursday (8 p.m. ET).
"We showed we can win against this team," said Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who stopped 31 of 33 shots.
"There was pressure to play a good hockey game," Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. "We had to play our best game of the series — and we did.
"Are we going to have to play better? For sure."
Brenden Morrow rallied the fifth-seeded Stars with a pair of power-play goals in the third period, both on creative setups from Mike Modano and Mike Ribeiro.
"There were 45 minutes where we played well," Morrow said. "We battled hard, outshot them and maybe outchanced them.
"The third period, we got some momentum. We will look to use that on Thursday."
Marty Turco surrendered three goals on six shots in the opening period, but he shook off the start and kicked out eight of the next nine shots to keep Dallas within striking distance.
"We looked jittery and made some uncharacteristic mistakes," Stars head coach Dave Tippett said. "The reality check came tonight — about how hard this series is going to be."
"We have to play the way we did there," Stars defenceman Stephane Robidas said. "We have to be ready to jump right off the bat and be willing to compete with them."
Backhand shot through crowded crease
Marchant opened the scoring 6:39 into the contest, converting Travis Moen's backhand pass for his first goal of the playoffs.
Less than four minutes later, Getzlaf intercepted the puck in the Dallas zone and slid a backhand shot through a crowded crease for his first goal.
"It was the start we wanted," Pronger said.
Pronger upped it 3-0 with 5:29 left in the first period, pinching in from the point and redirecting Todd Bertuzzi's feed from the edge of the crease.
Pronger scored his second goal during a 5-on-3 power play, beating Turco with a slapshot from the high slot 5:34 into the second period.
Morrow replied with two power-play goals in a 1:39 span early in the third period, tucking the puck inside the right post on the first and inside the left on the second.
"We were fortunate to jump out to an early lead," Carlyle said. "But we found a way to keep it exciting at the end."
Niedermayer 'getting nauseous'
Of note, Ducks forward Rob Niedermayer was scratched from the lineup following a collision with Morrow in Game 2.
"He is suffering concussion-type symptoms, getting nauseous and not feeling just right," Carlyle told CBC Sports.
"It physically happens right now more when he is travelling in a vehicle, so we felt it would not be very smart to put him in an airplane. But that is not to say he could not travel here [for Game 4]."
Anaheim is bidding to become the first team to win consecutive Stanley Cups since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98.
With files from the Canadian Press