The Dallas Stars -- and the Refs -- May Have Saved Their Season Last Night

Nauseated by the Mavs last night, I turned on the Dallas Stars. And what did I see?

A team maybe saving its season.

The Stars have had their share of bad-luck bounces lately. But last night in Anaheim they saved a gasp of their season with two controversial calls that disallowed goals by the Ducks in a crucial 4-3 win.

The Stars, who had dropped eight of nine to tumble out of the top eight in the Western Conference, got two goals from Mike Ribeiro to take a seemingly comfy 4-2 lead.

The Ducks got within one and then -- twice in the final two minutes -- appeared to have scored to tie it.

Notsamuch.

The Ducks thought they scored on Teemu Selanne's goal, but Duck Saku Koivu clearly interfered with goalie Kari Lehtonen as a shot was being taken. Frustrating for Anaheim, but the bump of Lehtonen in the crease clearly shoved him off balance and helped to allow the goal.

Good call. No doubt.

The second Dallas break? Hmm.

With Anaheim pulling its goalie, on a penalty and enjoying a two-man advantage, the Ducks applied massive pressure in Dallas' zone. The Ducks' Corey Perry found the puck in his hand -- literally -- outside the crease. Amidst serious traffic, he attempted to drop the puck and take a shot. To me, the puck was jostled via stick and skate before accidentally winding up on the tape of Bobby Ryan, who chipped a shot over Lehtonen for 4-4 with 1:47 remaining.

The officials, however, ruled Perry's assist was intentional hand pass. Whew.

In a related story: Call it even?


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