Dallas Stars (40-31-11) at Anaheim Ducks (54-20-8)
|Date & Time||Wednesday April 16, 2014, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks -181 / Dallas Stars +164 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Stars and Ducks wrap up the first night of postseason play as their series kicks off at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
The Dallas Stars ended a playoff drought that extended back to the 2008 season as they wrapped up the final wild card spot in the West last week when they upended the Dallas Stars by a 3-0 final. The scene at the American Airlines Center was something special as a hockey market was rejuvenated as was a franchise that was a perennial playoff contender for so many years. The trade for Tyler Seguin has made the Stars’ brass look genius as the youngster finished in the top five in league scoring and line mate Jamie Benn had a career year as well thanks in large part to the chemistry developed with the former Bruins forward and second overall pick. Kari Lehtonen is going to be a huge piece of Dallas’ success in these playoffs as he will have to outduel Jonas Hiller at the other end and stop the formidable line of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and whomever Bruce Boudreau decides to put with his top two guys.
The Ducks finished as the top seed in the Western Conference thanks to a ridiculous 54-20-8 record that ousted the Sharks from the Pacific throne and now they get home ice advantage for as far as they go in these playoffs. Anaheim is a very talented team no doubt but to me are a tad overrated as they have one very solid line and a bunch of holes everywhere else and unfortunately they got the best of San Jose who now has to matchup with the Kings in what should be a very exciting series. Anaheim are the clear cut favourites in this game and in this series and for good reason as they match up well against the Stars and both teams thrive off of their top lines offensively. While I am not sold on Anaheim going far in these playoffs I think they should advance past this round against Dallas though it could go six or seven games which I think can be their detriment heading into the West semi-finals. As for game one I like the Ducks to get their playoff bid started on the right foot as they clinch this one in regulation.