What we learned from the Ducks' 2-0 victory over the Dallas Stars

Were the Ducks making a case to put their top line in the three-on-three tournament that is the All-Star Game at Staples Center later this month?

It seemed like it, judging by how Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg once again dominated, this time in a 2-0 win Tuesday against the Dallas Stars at Honda Center.

But they weren't the only story as the Ducks wrapped a five-game homestand.

Here’s what we learned:

There’s no disputing they’re the top line. It used to be that Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry led the Ducks and they needed secondary scoring behind them. Now it’s Kesler, Cogliano and Silfverberg and whatever the Ducks get beyond that is gravy.

Given they play in all situations and are all having near-career seasons offensively, Kesler and Co. clearly have No.1 status.

“Right now they’re doing a lot of things that would constitute claiming they’re our No.1 line,” Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said. “They’re the model which we’d like our younger players to pattern themselves after.”

John Gibson has moved on from his 51-save game. Gibson was largely overshadowed by the top line, but it was his second shutout in four games, starting with his franchise regular-season record 51-save game against the Philadelphia Flyers on New Year’s Day. He has since stopped 112 of 116 shots.

Gibson said his mindset never changed after the game against the Flyers.

“I don’t really think about it, to be honest,” Gibson said. “Like I said before, if they need me to stop 15 [shots] or they need me to stop 53, it doesn’t really matter. Anytime you’re seeing the puck and it’s hitting you and the team’s playing well in front of you, it’s easier.”

There was one caveat to the win. Carlyle, ever the coach, pointed out that Dallas played Monday night, in a 10-goal grease-fire game against the Kings. The Stars also did not have captain and prolific scorer Jamie Benn, although the Ducks were also missing captain Ryan Getzlaf.

Carlyle said he did like what the team had worked on the last two days: Power play and neutral zone play.

 

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