DALLAS — The playoffs are approaching and the last-place Ducks got caught in one of Brett Hull's scoring streaks.
Hull scored four goals to move into seventh place on the NHL's career list as the Dallas Stars beat the Ducks, 8-0, Wednesday night to sweep the five-game season series.
Hull, who had managed only two goals in a 15-game span before Sunday's hat trick against Ottawa, has seven goals and two assists over his last three games.
"To have a night like this, it's a great feeling," said Hull, who has 647 career goals. "Neither team played real exciting in the first period, but in a game like that, as soon as someone gets a goal, that opens things up."
In a scoreless game, Hull got things started in the second period on the power play, and Grant Marshall also netted a goal with the man advantage 2:15 later. Hull added his second of the night later in the period, again on a power play, to help the Stars increase their Pacific Division lead over second-place San Jose to nine points.
Hull completed his second hat trick in three games with 10:03 remaining on a blast from the left circle, then completed his four-goal night from the right circle with 6:21 left.
"Their leadership is really coming together the closer they get to the playoffs," Duck Coach Guy Charron said of the Stars. "There have been some stories about Brett's slump lately. I was afraid he would come out of it, and he did."
Stars Coach Ken Hitchcock said Hull has broken out of his slump by exerting extra effort to find open ice.
"All his goals are similar," Hitchcock said. "He's working hard to get open and to protect the puck, and people are working to get loose pucks to him."
With the four goals, Hull surpassed Detroit's Steve Yzerman and Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux, tied with 644. The Red Wings and Penguins were idle.