February 1, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (15) turns the puck over as left wing Patrick Maroon (62) tries to recover against the Dallas Stars during the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Anaheim Ducks vs Dallas Stars Series Preview


The Ducks managed to avoid facing either one of their in-state rivals in the first round by winning the Pacific Division and the top seed in the conference gives them a matchup against the last team to qualify for the playoffs, the Dallas Stars. Here is a series preview.

SEASON SERIES

 In the lone first round matchup that does not feature in-division play, the Stars actually had the Ducks’ number.  They swept the season series winning all 3 games.  They started off with a pair of 6-3 wins and finished off with a 2-0 shutout win.

THE MATCHUPS

Goaltending

The Stars have a solid tandem, led by the playoff inexperienced Kari Lehtonen, who has just 2 games of playoff experience in his career.  He is backed up by the 2011 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas, who has been less than stellar returning after a year off.

Jonas Hiller hasn’t had the best season, but it was good enough to lead the Ducks to the conference title.  He is capably backed up by rookie Frederik Andersen, who could push for the starters role next season.

Defense

The Ducks have a solid top 4 led by veterans Francois Beauchemin and former Star Stephane Robidas, with support from young outstanding rookie Hampus Lindholm and burgeoning star Cam Fowler.

Offense

This series will feature two of the best 1-2 scoring punches in the NHL.  Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry lead the Ducks while Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin carry the Stars on their backs.

Special Teams

There isn’t much to chose between these special teams units.  There is just .1% of a difference in their respective power plays, and less than a 1% difference in their penalty kill units.

INTANGIBLES

  • The Stars had to fight right until the last weekend of the season to qualify and have been playing playoff hockey for a month.
  • The Ducks have got career years from a number of their role players, like Nick Bonino and Andrew Cogliano, that have helped cover for the reduced production from Selanne and Saku Koivu.

STORYLINES

  • This is reportedly the swan song for Teemu Selanne, and the Ducks will want nothing more than to send their likeable superstar out with another Cup.
  • Tyler Seguin has had a tremendous season for the Stars after his so-so playoff last season followed by his controversial departure from Boston.

 

PREDICTION

Anaheim rolls in on a 4 game winning streak and are one of the hottest teams in the league, but they haven’t beat the Stars this season.  However, just because they haven’t beat them doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t beat them.

Ducks in 6

 

HAVE YOUR SAY

WHO WILL WIN BETWEEN ANAHEIM AND DALLAS

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Tags: Corey Perry Jamie Benn Playoff Preview Ryan Getzlaf Tyler Seguin