Final

Series (Game 6 of 8)

Series tied 4-4

Game 1: Sunday, October 15th
Stars4Final
SO
Ducks3
Game 2: Wednesday, December 20th
Stars1Final
Ducks4
Game 3: Thursday, January 11th
Ducks5Final
Stars1
Game 4: Sunday, January 28th
Stars1Final
Ducks4
Game 5: Saturday, February 10th
Ducks0Final
Stars1
Game 6: Friday, February 23rd
Ducks1Final
Stars4
Game 7: Friday, March 23rd
Stars2Final
OT
Ducks3
Game 8: Friday, April 6th
Ducks1Final
SO
Stars2

Ducks 1

(35-17-10, 80 pts)

Stars 4

(36-21-3, 75 pts)

8:30 PM ET, February 23, 2007

American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

1 2 3 T
ANA 0 0 11
DAL 2 1 14

M. Smith (Stars - G): Saves: 24, Save Pct.: .960

J. Jokinen (Stars - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

K. Barch (Stars - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Smith outduels Giguere as Stars dump reeling Ducks

Associated Press

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars have two hot goaltenders, and they'll need both rookie Mike Smith and starter Marty Turco to stay that way down the stretch if they hope to win a second straight Pacific Division title.

Smith stopped 24 shots, Jussi Jokinen and rookie Krys Barch each had a goal and an assist and the Stars tightened the division race with a 4-1 victory over the slumping Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.

Dallas is five points behind Pacific-leading Anaheim and two back of second-place San Jose. The Stars trailed the Ducks by 15 points on Jan. 15.

"That was as good a team effort as we've had all year," Smith said. "First place seemed out of reach a couple of months ago. Now it isn't. We want to win the division and this helps."

Smith was in goal for the fourth time in the last seven games, including three starts. Coach Dave Tippett wants Smith to get more game action down the stretch to keep Turco fresh for the playoffs. Smith, 4-1 over his last five starts with a 1.15 goals-against average, beat the Ducks 1-0 on Feb. 10.

"We've talked since training camp about wanting to go down the stretch with two [goalies] ready to play," Tippett said. "And we've got that. March will be very busy for us. We'll need both of them."

The Stars played one of their most complete games of the season, especially against an elite team, as they beat the Ducks for the second straight time.

"We've had some games against them where we were chasing the game," Tippett said. "Tonight we dictated, starting in goal with Smitty. We got some breaks but we earned those breaks."

Ladislav Nagy got Dallas off to a fast start with a first-period goal, his first for the Stars since being acquired in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 12.

Jere Lehtinen's breakaway goal 40 seconds into the third period, his 20th of the season, gave Dallas a 4-0 lead.

Lehtinen has eight goals in his last 14 games, reaching the 20-goal mark for the seventh time in his career.

The Stars are 10-3-2 in their last 15 games, including a 7-1-1 run at home.

Corey Perry's 14th goal ended Smith's bid for his fourth shutout with 4:45 left.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere had 17 saves for the Ducks, 2-4-2 in their last eight games.

"This is as flat as we've been all year and I don't know why," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "In the situation we're in, in this important of a game, this made a statement."

The Ducks have dominated the division for most of the season, but now they can see the competition gaining fast.

"We just didn't compete like we needed to," Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer said. "This was an important game for both teams and we didn't respond to it. It's upsetting for sure."

Nagy gave Dallas the lead at 6:57 of the opening period when he redirected Loui Eriksson's centering pass by Giguere for his ninth goal of the season.

Nagy had gone without a point in his first three games with the Stars.

"I'm starting to feel comfortable," Nagy said. "I'm very happy to get one in the net."

Barch's deflection at 10:14 of the first period -- his second goal of the season -- gave the Stars a 2-0 lead.

The Stars got lucky with about 1:20 left in the first period when Anaheim's Tim Brent hit the goal post with a close-in shot while Smith was out of position.

"He's a good goalie but we haven't put enough pressure on him to find out how good he really is," Carlyle said.

Antti Miettinen's pass went in off Jokinen's skate at 13:47 of the second period for Jokinen's 12th goal of the season, extending Dallas' edge to 3-0.

Game notes


The Stars and Ducks have two games left. They've split their first six meetings this season. ... In a minor-league deal earlier Friday, the Stars acquired center Shane Endicott from the Ducks for future considerations. Endicott was playing for Milwaukee, Anaheim's AHL affiliate, and was assigned by the Stars to Iowa, Dallas' AHL minor-league team. ... Dallas forward Eric Lindros missed his fifth straight game. Lindros has been slowed by the flu and what the club has termed a lower-body injury. ... Stars center Patrik Stefan is out with a hip injury. ... Anaheim center Todd Marchant missed his third straight game with an abdominal strain.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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