Posted February 07, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Thanks in part to a red-hot rookie goaltender, the Anaheim Ducks look like a vastly improved team from the one that flopped against the Dallas Stars last season.
The visiting Ducks could start Victor Fasth in goal as they search for a fifth straight victory Friday night in Dallas, where they failed to solve Kari Lehtonen in their last two visits.
Anaheim (7-1-1) opened a six-game trip Wednesday with a 3-0 victory over Colorado. Fasth made 31 saves for his first shutout as he lowered his goals-against average to an NHL-best 0.98.
"It's nothing you go and think about. You just try to do your best and help the team out as much as you can,'' said the 30-year-old rookie, who was the Swedish Elite League's goaltender of the year the last two seasons. "I'm really glad I had (the shutout). It's a little bonus. Most important thing is we got the win and started off this road trip really good.''
Fasth could be the difference Friday for the Ducks, who went 1-5-0 against the Stars (5-5-1) last season.
Lehtonen went 4-1-0 with a 1.40 GAA in the season series, including shutouts in Anaheim's last two trips to the American Airlines Center.
While Lehtonen is a good bet to make his ninth start of the season, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau has to choose between the surging Fasth and Jonas Hiller, who is 3-1-1 with a 3.54 GAA.
Hiller has posted a 3.04 GAA in losing his last six starts against Dallas. Fasth, meanwhile, is the first goalie to win his first four starts since Nolan Schaefer did it for San Jose in 2005.
Boudreau has not named his starter for Friday.
"Hilly will be playing very soon,'' Boudreau said. "He will be doing the same thing, I hope.''
Boudreau has received strong recent production from defenseman Sheldon Souray, who has three goals and an assist over a three-game point streak. Souray signed with Anaheim as a free agent after he had 21 points in 64 games for the Stars a season ago.
Saku Koivu also has four points (two goals, two assists) over his last three games, and he thinks that the Ducks must improve.
"We gave up too many 2-on-1s, 3-on-2s, probably more than we've had in the last five games," Koivu said.
Dallas is also unhappy with its play despite winning three of four after Jaromir Jagr scored in overtime in Wednesday's 3-2 victory at Edmonton.
"It's definitely not pretty out there," said Jamie Benn, who had a goal and an assist. "We're getting the job done right now but we've got to get better as a team, do the right things, get pucks deep."
Benn led Dallas with eight points against Anaheim last season while Michael Ryder and Alex Goligoski each tied for the team lead with three goals.
Anaheim's Teemu Selanne had a team-high five points in the season series and Koivu a team-best three goals but Ryan Getzlaf came up empty in the six games.
Getzlaf, with a goal and four assists, has one point in each of his last five games.
Dallas has been short-handed a league-high 54 times. Anaheim owns one of the NHL's best power plays at 26.7 percent.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Anaheim Ducks center Saku Koivu scored the tying goal against the San Jose Sharks last night. One needs to watch until the third replay to actually see the damn thing.
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Viktor Fasth has quickly gone from unknown in the net to unbelievable.
Given the way he's playing, the backup is making a strong case for even more playing time.
Fasth stopped 31 shots for his first NHL shutout and Francois Beauchemin scored in his 500th career game, lifting the surging Anaheim Ducks to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.
In just a short...
Viktor Fasth stopped 31 shots for his first NHL shutout and Francois Beauchemin scored in his 500th career game, lifting the surging Anaheim Ducks to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.
Sheldon Souray and Saku Koivu each added a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who won their fourth straight game.
Fasth stymied the struggling Avalanche with one sprawling save...
Dallas Stars 3 - Edmonton Oilers 2
Jagr is my hero.
That revamped Stars top line has caught fire these past two games. Benn scored another goal and had another assist while Morrow also had an assist. Jagr only had an assist, the game winning goal in overtime and the wonderful shushing of the Oilers crowd. Who knows why this trio has...
Anaheim Ducks 'backup' goalie Viktor Fasth is making it almost impossible for head coach Bruce Boudreau to take him out of the lineup. Fasth stopped 31 shots for his first NHL shutout as the red-hot Ducks knocked off the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Wednesday.
Ducks' defenseman Francois Beauchemin scored in his 500th career game, while Sheldon Souray and Saku Koivu each...
Even a veteran like Jaromir Jagr can still get excited about scoring in overtime.
The 40-year-old forward scored 1:46 into the extra period, lifting the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 victory over the injury-riddled Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night for their first winning streak of the season.
Jagr beat goalie Devan Dubnyk with a high wrist shot for his third goal of the year.
DALLAS (AP) -- Trevor Daley and Jamie Benn scored power-play goals, Loui Eriksson added a third-period score and the Dallas Stars beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Friday night.
Eriksson gave the Stars some breathing room when he corralled Alex Goligoski's cross-ice pass and fired a wrist shot past Anaheim goaltender Viktor Fasth with 7:14 remaining.
Goligoski, who was a healthy...
Anaheim Ducks (7-1-1, 15 pts) @ Dallas Stars (5-5-1, 11 pts)
7:30 PM CT
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Goals – 4th, Goals Against – 10th, Power Play – 5th, Penalty Kill – 26th
Anaheim was expected to enter this season on a downturn. They finished 13th in the West last season and had pretty much the exact same roster this...
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Jaromir Jagr scored in overtime, lifting the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 victory over the injury-riddled Edmonton Oilers for their first winning streak of the season.
Jagr beat Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk 1:46 into the extra period with a high wrist shot for his third goal of the season.
Jamie Benn and Derek Roy scored in regulation for the Stars, who improved...
The Anaheim Ducks (7-1-1) are back in action tonight. They take on the Dallas Stars (5-5-1) in the second game of this six-game road trip. Anaheim is coming of an impressive 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday in which backup goalie Viktor Fasth earned his first career shutout and fourth win of the season.
Fasth has been the talk of the town with his stellar play...