DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Dallas Stars were just two minutes away from pushing the Western Conference’s top seed to a decisive Game 7 in Anaheim. Then Nick Bonino took over the game.
Bonino scored 2:47 into overtime, after getting one of Anaheim’s two goals late in regulation, and the Ducks beat the Stars 5-4 in Game 6 on Sunday night to clinch the first-round series.
Bonino took a wrist shot from in front of the net after getting a pass from Andrew Cogliano, and made sure the Ducks didn’t need a Game 7 to advance in the playoffs for only the second time since winning their lone Stanley Cup title seven years ago.
“We couldn’t finish them today, and we had a great chance to do so today,” said Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen. “We played well enough to get the win, we just were not able to.”
The Ducks scored twice in the final 2:10 of regulation to force overtime for the first time in the series.
Bonino skated around the from behind the net and got a puck over Lehtonen’s left shoulder to get the Ducks within 4-3.
Anaheim got the overtime-forcing goal with 24 seconds left after a wild scramble in front of the net with an extra skater and Lehtonen without his stick. When the puck trickled free, Devante Smith-Pelly pushed into the open gap for his second goal of the game for a 4-4 tie.
“It’s a cruel lesson, but it gives us a platform to build off of,” said head coach Lindy Ruff after the game. “There was so much good in that game — and almost utter dominance at times…The battle and compete from this team has been unbelievable. I’m proud of the way they played.”
While many of the current Stars saw their first career playoff action this season, it was a veteran defenseman that carried the offensive load on Sunday.
Trevor Daley scored twice on breakaways, the first goal coming after he got the puck charging out of the penalty box, and had an assist for the Stars.
Daley is the only current Stars player that was also on their last playoff team in 2008. The defenseman had only two goals in his first 34 career playoff games.
The home team won in each of the first five games, but the Ducks wanted to take advantage of the first opportunity it had to end the series.
Ducks veteran goalie Jonas Hiller stopped all 12 shots he faced after replacing rookie Federick Andersen midway through the second period after Daley’s second breakaway put Dallas up 4-2.
It was the second time in the series, both in Dallas, Andersen was pulled during the game. He faced 12 shots in the series finale, but four got past him.
Cody Eakin had a goal and an assist while Lehtonen stopped 25 shots for the Stars.
Dallas went ahead only 5 minutes into the game when Daley came out of the penalty box and skated toward the Anaheim net. After having to get around a referee to get to the puck pushed ahead by Shawn Horcoff, Daley scored.
Eakin scored a power-play goal five minutes later, a one-timer on a pass from Tyler Seguin to make it 2-0.
Daley put the Stars up 4-2 on another breakaway midway through the second period. Alex Goligoski passed ahead, with Daley just past the midline, skating around defenseman Luca Sbisa before scoring and then sliding on his back into the corner.
Smith-Pelly had a power-play goal with about 2 minutes left in the first period to cut the gap to 2-1.
But a minute later, Daley and Eakin both assisted on a goal by Ryan Garbutt, the Stars forward who got a major penalty for spearing Perry and a game misconduct midway through the first period of the Ducks’ 6-2 win in Game 5 on Friday night. Garbutt was fined but not suspended.
Notes: The last time the Stars scored at least three goals in a period in a postseason game was on April 27, 2008, with four in the third period of a 5-2 win over San Jose in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals. … Selanne (43 years and 207 days) became the second oldest player to record a multi-assist game in the playoffs. Chris Chelios of Detroit had two assists in the 2007 playoffs at 45 years and 102 days. … Selenne has 66 career playoff points for Anaheim, matching captain Ryan Getzlaf for the most in franchise history. Getzlaf had a goal and two assists in Game 5.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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