After taking the first two games in the series, the Anaheim Ducks couldn’t make it three.
Kari Lehtonen stood on his head as he saved all 37 shots he faced to lead the Dallas Stars over the Ducks 3-0 in Game 3 Monday night at American Airlines Center.
Despite the loss, the Ducks still hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Like the previous two games in the series, Game 3 provided plenty of physicality from the onset. With numerous hits and physical play through the first 20 minutes, the intensity would boil over late in the second frame as a huge scrum ensued along the boards with Ryan Getzlaf and Antoine Roussel trading blows.
Both were sent off with roughing penalties, but the Ducks couldn’t take advantage of their power play opportunities, finishing 0 for 5 on the evening.
Jamie Benn kicked off the scoring for Dallas with only 45 seconds left in the first period. Benn pounded home the rubber with a wide open net following a rebound. Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen had no chance as the original shot from Shawn Horcoff glanced off Andersen’s pads straight to Benn who took advantage of the generous rebound.
The Stars would take a 2-0 lead late in the second period as Valeri Nichushkin scored his first career playoff goal through the five-hole of Andersen.
Ryan Garbutt put the game away for good in the third. After a couple of beautiful saves from Andersen, Garbutt picked up the loose puck and slid the rubber under the pads of Andersen.
The rookie goalie finished with 19 saves on 22 shots.
Anaheim suffered a huge blow to their defensive corps as Stephane Robidas left the game after Garbutt slid into Robidas’ right leg. Robidas, a former Star, had to be helped off the ice and was diagnosed with a fractured right leg.
Robidas’ season appears to be over.
Things started to get out of hand for the Ducks as Patrick Maroon was sent off with a 10-minute misconduct with a hit on Tyler Seguin after the whistle. Devante Smith-Pelly would also be done for the night seconds later with a 10-minute misconduct of his own.
After a rough go in Anaheim, Lehtonen enjoyed the comforts of home as he pitched a shutout against the highest scoring offense in the NHL for his first career playoff win.
With Lehtonen back in the groove and the offense humming, Dallas will have plenty of confidence heading into Game 4 Wednesday night.
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