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Lehtinen ignites Stars' stagnant offense in easy win

Oct 21, 2007 - 5:01 AM
By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DALLAS (Ticker) -- It turns out that Jere Lehtinen just needed a little change to his routine to get going again.

The veteran right wing scored a goal and set up another Saturday night to help lead the Dallas Stars to a 3-1 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks.

Lehtinen, who led the goal-challenged Stars with 26 in 2006-07 but had just three assists through this season's first seven games, flourished on a new line with Mike Ribeiro and captain Brenden Morrow.

"We're still trying to find the rhythm of our lines and where everybody fits in," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. "Lehts (Lehtinen) seems like he's really coming along the last week or so, and he was very good tonight."

It was the second straight victory for the Stars as they embark on a stretch in which they play 10 of their next 11 games against Pacific Division rivals. The Ducks had a two-game winning streak snapped.

Ribeiro also had a goal and an assist, while Morrow scored Dallas' other goal.

"He's a guy that works hard, forechecks hard, he does everything good on the ice," Ribeiro said of Lehtinen. "He's an example for everyone, and to have our top scorer from last year score tonight and get his confidence back, it was just huge for us."

"It's nice to get on the board," Lehtinen said. "You have to do things a little bit differently depending on how (Ribeiro and Morrow) play. It's just reacting there. I think that we found each other pretty good tonight, so I hope we can keep going the same way."

Marty Turco, who sat out the Stars' previous two games with a minor leg injury, was back on top of his game, making 20 saves.

"He was very solid, very good," Tippett said. "That's got to be a staple of our team, our goaltenders have got to play very well. We expect that from them every night."

Dallas got on the board quickly as Morrow scored a goal for the third consecutive game just 2:05 into the contest - and 31 seconds after beginning a power play. Ribeiro carried the puck behind the net and slid a slick pass in front to Morrow cutting across the top of the crease, allowing him to bang the puck past goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere for his fourth goal of the season.

"We had a good start and scored on that first power play, which was good," Ribeiro said. "It was good to get out of the gate quick and take the lead. We feel more confident now, and as a team, it was probably our best game. Overall, we're happy with that. We beat a good team."

The Stars scored twice in a 2:15 span midway through the second period to break open the game.

Ribeiro popped in a loose rebound at 7:48 after Giguere made successive saves on defenseman Philippe Boucher and Stu Barnes.

Lehtinen made it 3-0 at 10:03 on a fluky play as he was the first player to a long dump-in that ricocheted off the end boards and into the right faceoff circle. Lehtinen subsequently leaned into a heavy slap shot that sailed past Giguere's blocker and into the net.

"I was just in the right place at the right time there," Lehtinen said. "It was good that he shot it pretty hard. It bounced pretty hard back there, so it was nice."

The tally spelled the end for Giguere, who was pulled after allowing three goals on just 11 shots. Ilya Bryzgalov entered and finished the contest, making 12 saves in relief.

"They had three goals in 11 shots. We hung our goalie out to dry," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said of the goalie switch. "We were looking for some kind of spark."

The Ducks got their lone goal late in the second by capitalizing on a 5-on-3 power play. Captain Chris Pronger recorded his first goal of the season, drilling a one-timer from the top of the slot past a screened Turco with 96 seconds remaining.

"We're having a tough time finding our rhythm, our chemistry and our line combinations," Pronger said. "You've got to keep working to get out of your funk and your lack of goal-scoring. We've got to keep working hard in those high-traffic areas. (Turco) played well and we didn't execute very well and do the little things you need to do to win."

The loss further extended Anaheim's struggles here, dropping it to 7-24-3 with two ties, and also kept the Ducks (0-4-1) winless on the road this season.

"On the road, it's tough to win anytime," Carlyle said. "We knew that."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 1 0 1
    DALLAS 1 2 0 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) BRENDEN MORROW 4 (MIKE RIBEIRO, JERE LEHTINEN)
    2:05
    2ND PRD: DAL - MIKE RIBEIRO 2 (JOEL LUNDQVIST, STU BARNES) 7:48
    DAL - JERE LEHTINEN 1 (PHILIPPE BOUCHER, TREVOR DALEY) 10:03
    ANA - (PP) CHRIS PRONGER 1 (

    Oct 20 10:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 1 1
    DALLAS 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) BRENDEN MORROW 4 (MIKE RIBEIRO, JERE LEHTINEN)
    2:05
    2ND PRD: DAL - MIKE RIBEIRO 2 (STU BARNES, PHILIPPE BOUCHER) 7:48
    DAL - JERE LEHTINEN 1 (PHILIPPE BOUCHER, TREVOR DALEY) 10:03
    ANA - (PP) CH

    Oct 20 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 1
    DALLAS 3
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) CHRIS PRONGER 1 (RYAN GETZLAF) 18:24 (TWO-MAN
    ADVANTAGE)

    Ducks vs. StarsOct 20 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 0
    DALLAS 3
    2ND PRD: DAL - JERE LEHTINEN 1 (PHILIPPE BOUCHER, TREVOR DALEY) 10:03

    Ducks vs. StarsOct 20 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 0
    DALLAS 2
    2ND PRD: DAL - MIKE RIBEIRO 2 (STU BARNES, PHILIPPE BOUCHER) 7:48

    Ducks vs. StarsOct 20 9:16 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 0
    DALLAS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) BRENDEN MORROW 4 (MIKE RIBEIRO, JERE LEHTINEN)
    2:05
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANA 8 8
    DAL 7 7
    GOALIES: ANA - JEAN-SEBA

    Oct 20 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 0
    DALLAS 1
    1ST PRD: DAL - (PP) BRENDEN MORROW 4 (MIKE RIBEIRO, JERE LEHTINEN)
    2:05

    Ducks vs. StarsOct 20 8:13 PM