DALLAS (AP) – Dan Hamhuis didn’t tell his Dallas teammates it was his 34th birthday.
Instead, he gave them a gift with his first goal for the Stars, opening a five-goal third period that beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 on Tuesday night.
Hamhuis tipped in Jamie Benn’s cross-ice pass on the power play, tying it 2-all at 5:41.
“When you get to this age, (birthdays) aren’t that important,” Hamhuis said.
“It was nice to get that first one out of the way. Jamie made a great play. It wasn’t very hard for me to put that one in after he made that great pass. It was nice to be involved in key goal, too, to get our rally started.”
After that, Adam Cracknell, Patrick Eaves and Benn scored to drive Anaheim goalie John Gibson from the game at 12:24. Radek Faksa added an empty-netter at 13:57.
Stephen Johns scored the first goal of the game for Dallas in the second period.
Cracknell’s winner came 52 seconds after Hamhuis’ score. Cracknell and Devin Shore rushed the net, and the puck went in off the stick of Anaheim’s Corey Perry.
“If Shore doesn’t drive, that doesn’t go off of Perry’s stick,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “He got to the inside, he did the right thing: He stopped, got to the paint.”
Dallas had lost six of eight. Anaheim was 6-1-1 in its previous eight.
“There was a lot of good inside the game,” Ruff said. “I thought our penalty killing was good, especially when you treat that team to two 5-on-3s.”
The Ducks outshot the Stars 36-27, but Antti Niemi made 34 saves to improve to 6-1-1 at home this season. He had not played in the previous five games.
“Antti gave us a great game tonight, which allowed us to finish this one off,” Ruff said.
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said his team should have scored more.
“When we have as many opportunities, point blank and 2-on-1s on the goaltender, we’ve got to score more goals than we did tonight, that’s for sure,” he said.
Cracknell said the Stars remained confident even after falling behind in the third.
“We had the feeling in the room that if you keep on giving them power plays, they’re going to get their chances,” he said. “Antti played great. He saved us in the first. We knew if we stayed within our system, we were going to get our wins.”
Perry and Ryan Getzlaf scored for the Ducks. Getzlaf assisted on Perry’s power-play goal.
Benn had a goal and two assists. His brother, Jordie, and Tyler Seguin each had two assists.
Perry got his seventh of the season for a 2-1 lead 5 seconds after a two-man advantage ended in the third period.
Dallas killed a 5-on-3 situation for 1:09 in the first period. Niemi made four saves during the two-man advantage, one on Getzlaf’s slap shot from the blue line with Ryan Kesler hovering on the doorstep.
NOTES: Stars D Jamie Oleksiak sat out the second game of a two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Philadelphia’s Chris VandeVelde on Sunday. … Hamhuis’ goal was his first since April 1 for Vancouver, also against the Ducks and Gibson. “It was a short-side goal there that squeaked in,” Hamhuis recalled. … Seguin has 21 assists this season. … Cracknell has three of his five points in two games vs. Anaheim this season. … Perry has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his last six games. … Ducks C Antoine Vermette, who entered leading the NHL in faceoff winning percentage (65 percent), won 14 of 21 (67 percent) on Tuesday.
Ducks: Travel to Boston for the second game of a six-game trip on Thursday. The last five will be in the Eastern time zone.
Stars: Play the second game of a five-game homestand Thursday against the Rangers.
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