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Robidas helps Stars eliminate Ducks

Apr 21, 2008 - 5:21 AM
By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DALLAS (Ticker) - Stephane Robidas picked a great time to strike for his first career playoff goal.

Wearing a full face cage after a puck broke his nose in Game Five, the rugged defenseman scored the tying goal early in the third period and then set up Stu Barnes' game-winner 52 seconds later to lift the Dallas Stars to a series-clinching 4-1 triumph over the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night in Game Six of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Marty Turco made 17 saves for the fifth-seeded Stars, who won the series four games to two and advanced to the conference semifinals to play either the second-seeded San Jose Sharks or sixth-seeded Colorado Avalanche.

After several seasons of disappointing first-round exits, Dallas advanced to the conference semifinals for the first time since 2003.

"Now we have the monkey off our back with regards to the first round," Dallas captain Brenden Morrow said. "We are not settling for this, but it does feel good. I'm happy for this team and now we'll enjoy this and then get ready for the next round."

"It's very gratifying for a team that has been through a lot," added Stars coach Dave Tippett, who is now just 2-4 in playoff series. "This is the first step in a mission that we all hope extends for a long time."

The fourth-seeded Ducks became the latest defending Stanley Cup winners to flame out early, as no champion has made it into the conference semifinals since the Colorado Avalanche in 2002.

"Anything short of the Stanley Cup is a disappointment for this group," said Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who made 22 saves. "Our goal is set on going all the way. I don't think it was a lack of effort. We tried, but we just couldn't come up with the win."

Missing its top blue-liner Sergei Zubov and fellow defenseman Philippe Boucher, Dallas relied on three rookie defensemen, but it was the gritty veteran Robidas who filled the void, registering his fifth and sixth points of the series.

"Everybody's talking about how we missed Zubov," Robidas said. "He's our best defenseman and we lost Boucher after two games - obviously that really hurt, but I think guys that stepped in did an unbelievable job. All year long, we've had to battle through injury. That's part of the game and the guys that stepped in just did what they had to do."

"There's not too many players on teams that does as much as he does," Turco said of Robidas. "When you talk about injuries to two All-Star defensemen, and for the minutes he's logged, for the position that he's put himself in, it's quite notable. It's not amazing to us how hard he's worked, how dedicated he is, and he means the world to this team."

With the Ducks leading, 1-0, after a second-period goal by Corey Perry, the Stars capitalized on their fourth power play of the night just 78 seconds into the third session.

Mike Modano's slap shot from the blue line sailed wide, but the puck caromed off the end boards and went right to Robidas in the left faceoff circle. The blue-liner's one-timer zipped between Giguere's pads to even the game at 1-1.

"It hit the board and the rebound came right on my blade and I just shot in on net," Robidas said of his first playoff goal in his 25th career postseason game. "I saw Giguere was kind of out of place, I wasn't really aiming at any spot in particular, I was just lucky to be there at that spot in time, and it just went in."

"We were fortunate we got an early power play and capitalized on that," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "That was big for us, where it just generated so much momentum for us. You could just sense it there on the bench, that there was a big hungriness there, that we were going to do whatever it took to win."

Less than a minute later, Robidas led the rush into the Ducks' zone and fed a nice pass to a charging Barnes in the slot. Barnes' one-timer sailed into an open net for his second goal of the series to give Dallas a 2-1 advantage.

"Robi made a couple of great plays," Barnes said. "He got by a couple guys and found me in the slot and all I had to do was put it in."

Dallas then clamped down defensively, allowing just one shot through the first 15 minutes of the third period.

"They're a team that plays very tight defense," Anaheim defenseman Scott Niedermayer said. "They had all their guys back and protected the middle of the ice well and made it hard to penetrate. It's disappointing because we believe we could do better. Our sights were set higher than this."

Loui Eriksson sealed the defending champions' fate with a breakaway goal with 2:18 remaining, beating Giguere with a wrist shot from the slot. Modano then added an empty-netter with 3.3 seconds left after Ducks captain Chris Pronger picked up a penalty.

"We knew it wasn't going to be easy and we knew it would be a grind," Modano said. "We pushed them back and this feels pretty good right now."

"We tried, every guy gave it everything he had," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "Those are the things you thank them for their work ethic throughout the course of the season, but their lack of execution in the playoffs is an issue we'll deal with over the summer."

After missing the first three games while recovering from a lacerated quadriceps, Perry has been outstanding since his return in Game Four, earning a point in each game he's played. His wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle beat Turco between the pads to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead just 2:11 into the second period.

"We were doing things okay, then they came in with two quick goals," Niedermayer said. "On a one-goal lead, you never want to sit back and I'm not sure if we did that or not."

No team has won back-to-back Stanley Cups since the Detroit Red Wings accomplished the feat in 1997 and 1998.

"This is not a happy ending," Ducks winger Teemu Selanne said. "I think we didn't do things as good as we could. Everybody wants to beat you when you're the champions. You try hard but when you're a little bit off here and there, that's why you can't win."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 1 0 1
    DALLAS 0 0 4 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: ANA - COREY PERRY 2 (SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, JEAN-SEBASTIEN
    GIGUERE) 2:11
    3RD PRD: DAL - (PP) STEPHANE ROBIDAS 1 (MIKE MODANO, JERE LEHTINEN)
    1:18
    DAL - STU BARNES 2 (STEPHANE ROBIDAS, NIKLAS GRO

    Apr 20 11:34 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL ANAHEIM 1
    DALLAS 4
    3RD PRD: DAL - (PP) (EN) MIKE MODANO 2 (JERE LEHTINEN, MARTY TURCO)
    19:56

    Ducks 1, Stars 4  3rd - 0:04Apr 20 11:30 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL ANAHEIM 1
    DALLAS 3
    3RD PRD: DAL - LOUI ERIKSSON 3 (BRAD RICHARDS, JOEL LUNDQVIST) 17:42

    Ducks 1, Stars 3  3rd - 2:18Apr 20 11:23 PM
  • 5
    roots
    bouch Added 5 roots

    Ducks 1, Stars 1  3rd - 18:42Apr 20 10:57 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL ANAHEIM 1
    DALLAS 2
    3RD PRD: DAL - STU BARNES 2 (STEPHANE ROBIDAS, NIKLAS GROSSMAN) 2:10

    Ducks 1, Stars 2  3rd - 17:50Apr 20 10:55 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL ANAHEIM 1
    DALLAS 1
    3RD PRD: DAL - (PP) STEPHANE ROBIDAS 1 (MIKE MODANO, JERE LEHTINEN)
    1:18

    Ducks 1, Stars 1  3rd - 18:42Apr 20 10:53 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 1 1
    DALLAS 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: ANA - COREY PERRY 2 (SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, JEAN-SEBASTIEN
    GIGUERE) 2:11
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANA 6 3 9
    DAL 8 8

    Apr 20 10:32 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL ANAHEIM 1
    DALLAS 0
    2ND PRD: ANA - COREY PERRY 2 (SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, JEAN-SEBASTIEN
    GIGUERE) 2:11

    Ducks 1, Stars 0  2nd - 17:49Apr 20 10:05 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 0
    DALLAS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANA 6 6
    DAL 8 8
    GOALIES: ANA - JEAN-SEBASTIEN GIGUERE
    DAL - MARTY TURCO

    Apr 20 9:43 PM