DALLAS (AP) — Clayton Stoner can barely remember his last goal, let alone his last unassisted score.
Before Sunday night, that is.
Stoner’s unassisted go-ahead goal in the third period helped the Anaheim Ducks beat the Dallas Stars 3-1 on Sunday night.
It was Stoner’s first goal since March 18, 2014. And, when was his last unassisted goal?
“That’s a good question,” he said. “I don’t have that many goals. I’ll just try and get shots on net. That one was lucky to go through. I was happy about that.”
Stoner has just five goals in 282 career games, and hadn’t scored in his first 54 games this season. But he put a slap shot from the left point between the legs of Dallas’ Jhonas Enroth.
“I tried to find it,” Enroth said, “but it’s just one of those shots that I never saw. It’s just unfortunate that it went in.”
The game was tied at 1 before Stoner’s goal at 4:19 of the third.
Dallas coach Lindy Ruff was more concerned about Ryan Getzlaf’s goal that increased the lead to 3-1 on a breakaway at 14:09.
“At 2-1, we were banging on the door pretty hard,” Ruff said. “We got loose on the third goal where both defensemen ad-libbed. I think the lesson is they hung around and waited for that one big mistake we made. We turned the puck over in the middle of the ice, and it ended up in the back of our net.”
Getzlaf and Corey Perry each had a goal and an assist for Anaheim. The Pacific Division leaders are 5-1 in their last six games.
John Gibson made 39 saves for the Ducks, while Enroth finished with 19. The Stars outshot Anaheim 40-22.
Gibson started even though starting goalie Frederik Andersen has recovered from an upper-body injury.
“He looked like he didn’t want to give up the net any time soon,” Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. “They’re both very competitive goalies, but you sort of like to see that.”
Patrick Eaves scored on the power play for Dallas, which is on a six-game winless streak (0-4-2).
Before the game, Dallas traded left wing Erik Cole to Detroit for two prospects. Each team received a draft pick.
Perry scored at 17:46 of the first period to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead. He skated down the slot, took a pass from Jiri Sekac and tapped a short shot past Enroth. The goal came 13 seconds after Sekac came out of the penalty box.
The Stars tied the game at 1 on their third power play of the game. Trevor Daley tracked down his own rebound beside the net and passed in front to Eaves, whose goal at 17:51 of the second came 1 second before Stoner’s high sticking penalty would have expired.
“We had a good power play winding down towards the end, and (Daley) had a great shot and rebound,” Eaves said. “I was just hanging out in front and it came right onto my stick.”
Dallas dominated the period, outshooting the Ducks 17-3.
“They did all the things that we did in the first period in that second period,” Getzlaf said. “Goaltender’s got to play his part, too. He did a great job tonight.”
At 3:37 of the third, Gibson sprawled to stop Vernon Fiddler on the rebound of a shot by Curtis McKenzie.
Anaheim came back less than a minute later when Stoner’s goal broke the tie.
At 14:09, Perry passed from the right-wing boards ahead to Getzlaf, who beat Enroth on his glove side.
NOTES: Ducks RW Tim Jackman (lower-body injury) left in the first period and didn’t return. LW Andrew Cogliano left in the third period, assisted by a trainer. … Eaves returned after missing seven games because of a concussion. … The Stars killed Anaheim’s only power play. Dallas’ power play was 1 for 3.
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