Stars 6, Ducks 2

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 02, 2012
Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists in his return from a five-game absence, Michael Ryder also had a goal and two assists, and the Dallas Stars slowed the Anaheim Ducks' roll with a 6-2 victory Wednesday night in their first game back from the All-Star break. Eric Nystrom, Vernon Fiddler and defensemen Stephane Robidas and Sheldon Souray also scored for the Stars, who beat Anaheim in back-to-back meetings eight days apart. Those two wins are Dallas' only victories since Jan. 12 and the Ducks' only games without earning a point since Jan. 4. The Stars have won four of five against their Pacific Division rivals this season. Kari Lehtonen made 33 saves for the Stars, who peppered Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller and took a 3-1 lead in the first period when Benn scored in his return from an emergency appendectomy after playing his first All-Star game last weekend. Matt Beleskey and Luca Sbisa scored, and Hiller stopped 20 shots as Anaheim lost for just the third time in 12 games, snapping a six-game home winning streak. The Ducks hadn't allowed six goals since Nov. 25 against Chicago. In the opener of a four-game homestand, the Ducks regressed to the early-season form that put them near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, a position that hasn't changed even with their recent success. The Ducks opened their post-break schedule with a dominant 4-1 win at Phoenix on Tuesday night, their ninth victory in 11 games. Nystrom, Fiddler and Benn scored 3:54 apart in the first period for the Stars, erasing Anaheim's early lead after Beleskey's shot caromed off Robidas' stick and floated over Lehtonen's shoulder. Just 11 seconds into a second-period power play, Robidas ripped a slap shot into the top corner of Hiller's net for his third goal of the season. Sbisa scored his third goal on a pass from Teemu Selanne moments later, but Souray scored 36 seconds into the third period. The Ducks had plenty of strong offensive chances, just as they did last week when the Stars beat them 1-0 in Dallas. Ryder, who hadn't scored in the Stars' previous six games, punctuated his fourth three-point game of the season with a goal in the final minutes. Dallas, which began its post-break schedule in a three-way tie for 10th place in the conference standings, is hoping to avoid another skid after the All-Star festivities. The Stars went 1-8-1 out of the break last season, missing the playoffs for the third straight year. Benn and captain Brenden Morrow both returned to the Stars' lineup after injuries. Morrow missed the Stars' previous meeting with Anaheim because of an upper-body injury. Anaheim went 9-2-1 during a dynamite January, but is still stuck in 13th place in the conference because its first three months were horrible, leading to coach Randy Carlyle's firing. NOTES: Ducks RW Corey Perry played in his 500th NHL game, and F Bobby Ryan played in his 300th. ... Before the game, Anaheim recalled RW Kyle Palmieri from its AHL affiliate in Syracuse. ... Dallas D Philip Larsen played regularly after returning from the minors on Monday.
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