ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Ryan Miller couldn’t help but crack a smile when remembering the mess the Anaheim Ducks found themselves in.
After two Ducks players put the puck over the glass on back-to-back plays while already on the penalty kill in the third period, Miller just dug in and helped drag Anaheim to its longest winning streak of the season.
Miller stopped 41 shots for his 42nd career shutout as the Ducks beat the Dallas Stars 2-0 Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.
“We can laugh about it now, but when you watch those two float out of the rink you get a little anxious,” said Miller, who picked up his third shutout of the season.
Ryan Getzlaf scored short-handed and Hampus Lindholm had a power-play goal for the Ducks, who took sole possession of third place in the Pacific Division.
It was the Ducks’ second straight shutout, after Miller came on for the third period in relief of an injured John Gibson in a 2-0 win at Vegas on Monday.
Miller made 20 saves against the Golden Knights and picked up where he left off with an early stop on Mattias Janmark’s backhand. It wasn’t until Getzlaf and Josh Manson each took delay-of-game penalties following a slashing call on Cam Fowler that the veteran goalie showed how locked in he was by turning away dangerous shots by Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza in succession.
“It was a pivotal point in the game, definitely,” Miller said. “I just told myself get one at a time and see what we can do.”
Miller stopped seven shots during the 5-on-3, setting the stage for the Ducks to make it 2-0 at 4:28 of the third on Getzlaf’s eighth career short-handed goal.
Getzlaf left the penalty box and was on the receiving end of a long pass from Francois Beauchemin. Ben Bishop came out of his crease to play the bouncing puck but Getzlaf chipped it over him before the goaltender could knock it away. The Ducks’ captain then composed himself and scored into an open goal for his 11th multi-point game.
“Get there faster than (Bishop),” Getzlaf said of his mindset during the sequence. “I just noticed that their D-men had been out there a long time so they were probably going to change thinking I was going off. Clearly, I was fresh.”
Lindholm gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead with 6:45 left in the first, barreling in to bury the rebound of Getzlaf’s shot into an open net for his third power-play goal of the season. It was Lindholm’s 38th career goal, breaking a tie with Fredrik Olausson for fifth place in franchise history for the most by a defenseman.
“I think we did a lot of good things tonight, but just couldn’t win the special teams,” said Bishop, who made 15 saves.
The Ducks entered the game tied with the Los Angeles Kings for third place in the Pacific Division, and the Stars are in third in the Central Division. Not surprisingly, there was playoff intensity and caginess at the start. The Ducks went into the power play where Lindholm scored with two shots on goal and got two in eight seconds with the man-advantage, their only four shots in the period.
The game also ended on a playoff-like note, with Benn and Corey Perry fighting while teammates on both sides jawed and postured.
Miller wants the Ducks to maintain that feisty play and spirit.
“We recognize where the season is at,” Miller said. “We’ve built a good game. We have to stick with it.”
NOTES: Stars C Martin Hanzal left after the first period and did not return with a lower-body injury. … The Ducks have won four in a row at home against the Stars. Anaheim hosts Dallas on April 7 to close out the regular season. … Kari Lehtonen will start in goal for the Stars against the Kings in the second game of a back-to-back on Thursday night.
Stars: Visit the Kings on Thursday night.
Ducks: Visit the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night.
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