Loui Eriksson recorded two goals to lift the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 away victory over the Anaheim Ducks to boost their hopes of making the end of season play-offs. The Swede's 30th and 31st goals of the year pulled the Stars (31-26-8) past the Ducks in the standings and into the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff picture.
The Stars entered the contest tied with Anaheim for the eighth place in the conference, but pulled ahead with victory in a game where the Ducks outshot the visitors 38-16. "We have some players that are going to return around play-off time. Look out if we get there," the Dallas centre Steve Ott said. The Dallas goaltender Marty Turco added 36 saves to help inspire the Stars. The Stars charged to an early advantage with a goals by Mike Ribeiro which was followed by Eriksson's first at 14:39 in the second period.
Eriksson added his second score 8:48 into the third following a goal by Anaheim's James Wisniewski a minute earlier. The score came in Wisniewski's first game with the Ducks, as he was one of four players acquired by the team at the trade deadline. Centre Erik Christensen, also making his debut with Anaheim, incurred an early penalty in the loss. Christensen said. "This is going to be a period of change and it's going to take some getting used to. Give it a week or two and see how it turns out. I'm hoping this can be a good spot for me."
Bobby Ryan pulled the Ducks within one with 2:32 remaining in the game. In other action, the Carolina Hurricanes had a convincing 6-1 victors over the Calgary Flames, while the Buffalo Sabres were also big winners as they got the better of the Phoenix Coyotes 5-1. The St Louis Blues beat Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 after overtime, while the Atlanta Thrashers beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-0.
* With agencies