Dallas Stars (40-31-11) at Anaheim Ducks (54-20-8)
|Date & Time||Friday April 18, 2014, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks -195 / Dallas Stars +170 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Stars look to even the series against the Ducks as the two meet up in Anaheim for game two of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
The Dallas Stars snuck into the playoffs in the final week of the regular season and as such were pitted against the Western Conference winning Anaheim Ducks in what many considered to be a huge first round mismatch. Things looked as though they were heading in that direction early on but the Stars fought off an early three goal deficit to climb back within a single goal and almost forced overtime with tons of pressure late in the game. Dallas showed not only why they are in the playoffs but that they can compete with the game’s best teams as they’re very structured in the offensive zone and have a ton of resiliency and fight which is essential in any playoff team. The Stars will look to steal home ice advantage and head back to Frisco on even terms but they know that winning a pivotal game two is never an easy task and the Ducks are certainly a formidable foe.
Anaheim earned home ice advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs by virtue of finishing with the best record and they’ll look to retain that edge with another victory in game two. The Ducks stormed out of the gates in the series opener as they held two separate three-goal leads but were sweating by the end of the contest as the Stars mounted a comeback and perhaps stole momentum away from the home side in the process. Anaheim is criticized for having a lack of offensive depth beyond their top line and now with Ryan Getzlaf sustaining a facial injury in the first game it’ll be interesting to see how the team responds. Getzlaf will be in the lineup but could be a little worse for wear but come playoff time you can bet nobody will be taking time off unless they’re in the hospital and the Ducks’ captain is no different as he is crucial to the team’s success. However, I really like Dallas in this spot as I think they can make a series of this thing and with the way they played to close out the first game I think they keep that energy up and take advantage of Anaheim’s rookie goaltending.