Dallas Stars (40-31-11) at Anaheim Ducks (54-20-8)
|Date & Time||Friday April 25, 2014, 10:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks -155 / Dallas Stars +141 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Ducks look to reclaim the series lead as the scene shifts back to Anaheim for a pivotal game five after the Stars evened things up with two wins in Dallas.
The Stars responded in a big way after falling behind 2-0 to the Anaheim Ducks to start the series as they gave the playoff-hungry home crowd lots to cheer about with back to back convincing victories. The Stars were within a single goal in both of their defeats but waxed the Ducks in both games in Dallas outscoring them by a score of 7-1 and gaining a ton of confidence and momentum heading back to the Pond. As it has been all year long, Jamie Benn has been instrumental in Dallas’ resurgence and while Tyler Seguin has been relatively quiet he has still played a significant role in this series and will continue to do so as long as the Stars are still playing. Kari Lehotnen has been brilliant in the last two contests and has a great shot at leading his team to another victory this time on the road against a shorthanded Ducks team that looks like they are freefalling.
The Anaheim Ducks were the best regular season team in the Western Conference but have looked like anything but world beaters in their last two contests and frankly they weren’t overly impressive in their two wins either. Anaheim has had some injury to insult over the last few games as well as captain and leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf was on the shelf in the game four loss and his status is uncertain as he continues to nurse an upper body injury which likely has to do with the facial injuries he sustained in game one. The Ducks are also in the midst of a goaltending controversy as rookie Frederik Andersen who assumed the starter’s role for the playoffs has struggled of late forcing Bruce Boudreau to decide whether to stay with the youngster or turn to Jonas Hiller who has been the rock of the team all season. Lastly, the Ducks made future hall of famer and playoff staple Teemu Selanne a healthy scratch in the last contest which could come to serve as motivation for the Finnish national but I think could be a huge distraction as well. Either way I don’t see how the Ducks are this heavy a favourite without all of those things considered and with the way Dallas has played of late I think they keep momentum going forward.