Ducks power play comes alive in Game 5 win against Stars

Dallas Stars defenceman Jordie Benn and Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne (left) and left wing...

Dallas Stars defenceman Jordie Benn and Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne (left) and left wing Pat Maroon battle for the puck during Game 5 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series at the Honda Center in Anaheim, April 25, 2014. (KELVIN KUO/USA Today)

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:38 AM ET

ANAHEIM - The Anaheim Ducks claimed the Pacific Division crown in spite of their power play.

On Friday, they protected home-ice advantage because of it.

Nick Bonino, Rickard Rakell, Mathieu Perreault and Corey Perry each cashed in on man-advantage opportunities to lift the Ducks to a 6-2 rout of the Dallas Stars at the Honda Center and give the Quack Pack a 3-2 lead in this best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series.

The Stars will try to extend the series in Sunday's Game 6 at the American Airlines Center, although they might think twice about trying to agitate Anaheim's star players after getting punished by the Ducks' power play Friday.

“When you're scoring on your power play, they're not going to do as many things, and that's what we need to take over to the next one,” said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. “As long as our power play is getting chances and stuff, we have to build momentum off that, whether we score or not. Tonight, we did.”

Getzlaf, who missed Wednesday's loss in Dallas due to an upper-body injury and was questionable for Friday's contest, was in the lineup for Game 5 and made his mark with an even-strength goal and a pair of power play assists.

Right-winger Jakob Silfverberg also scored for the Ducks, while captain Jamie Benn and centre Shawn Horcoff provided the offence for the Stars.

The Ducks' power play posted just a 16.0% efficiency rate during the regular season — 22nd in league and third-worst among playoff squads — and was 2-for-17 (11.8%) in the first four games of this series.

Their stats will look pretty good after Friday's four-for-six performance, with the Ducks setting a franchise record for most power play goals in a post-season outing.

Getzlaf had a lot to do with it.

The crowd roared when the 28-year-old centre stepped onto the ice for the pre-game warmup and went wild when he was announced as a member of Anaheim's starting lineup.

In kind, Getzlaf gave them plenty to cheer about, collecting an assist on goals by Bonino and Perreault and finding the back of the net with a one-timer of his own in the third period.

Along the way, he became Anaheim's all-time leader for playoff points with 66, although he was also guilty of a stickhandling gaffe on Benn's shorthanded goal.

“Every time you get your captain back, it’s going to make you feel better,” said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau. “It’s like your big brother is back. Guys felt a little more secure, and he came out and played a really great game, as well as the other guys.”

The return of Getzlaf reunited Anaheim's dynamic duo, but his partner-in-production, Perry, was hurtin' after a spearing cheap shot by Stars winger Ryan Garbutt in the first period of Friday's contest.

Perry had just jumped over the boards for a line change when Garbutt, who was headed to his own bench, dropped him with a spear to the, um, private parts.

Perry writhed in pain on the ice and missed a couple of shifts after briefly retreating to the locker room, while Garbutt was assessed a five-minute major for spearing and tossed from the game.

Boston Bruins brute Milan Lucic was slapped with a $5,000 fine earlier this week for his kilt-lifter on Detroit Red Wings blueliner Danny DeKeyser, so Garbutt could have sent an e-transfer to the NHL before Friday's final buzzer to cross one thing off his to-do list for the weekend.

“It wasn't an accident and, you know, it was pretty dirty, but we know that's how he plays,” Boudreau said.

Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was also critical of Garbutt for the low blow, but reminded reporters — without naming names — that Perry speared his star player in the groin in Game 2.

“It's something that, obviously, we don't want to see,” Ruff said. “I didn't think it was as bad as it was made out to be. I don't think it was as bad as the spearing on Jamie Benn, in my eyes. It's still definitely a penalty and it's something that I don't want to see as a coach.”

The Ducks will try to finish off the series Sunday in Dallas, while the wildcard Stars are focusing on the positives as they prepare for a must-win game at home.

They fired 28 shots through two periods of Game 5 and trailed by one at the second intermission, but the Ducks turned a close game into a lopsided result with three goals in a span of 5:42 early in the third period.

“We did a lot of good things in the game,” Ruff said. “They had a little bit of puck luck on their side that we didn't have. We hit posts, crossbar. We had our chances on the power play and we missed too many good opportunities, and that's the difference in the game.”

Stars starter Kari Lehtonen stopped just 16 of 21 shots in Game 5 before backup Tim Thomas entered the game.

At the other end, Ducks netminder Frederik Andersen finished with 34 saves.

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNGilbertson


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