By Martin Iheke
After not playing in the postseason for the last five years, your Dallas Stars opened up their first playoff series since 2008 at the Anaheim Ducks. Unfortunately they could not come away with a victory as the Ducks would win, 4-3, and lead the best-of-seven series, 1-0.
The inexperience of the Stars showed in this period as they gave up the first goal to Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri with almost two minutes into the game. Then about midway into the period, Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf tipped one past Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen to put his team up, 2-0. The Stars would get some good chances and even had three power play opportunities, but failed to cash in on Ducks goalie Frederick Andersen. The Ducks however would make it, 3-0, at the end of the period thanks to a power play goal by Ducks forward Mathieu Perreault. The Stars registered 14 shots in the period while the Ducks had 10.
The lead grew to 4-0 for the Ducks on another power play goal. This time scored by Ducks forward Matt Beleskey with assists from defenseman Francois Beauchemin and forward Teemu Selanne. The Stars finally got on the board with their first 5 on 3 power play goal of the season scored by captain, Jamie Benn. Stars forward Colton Sceviour would score another goal for the Stars to cut the deficit in half, 4-2, late in the period. The Stars registered 13 shots in the period to the Ducks 12.
There was not much action for most of the period until Stars forward Tyler Seguin would score with about six minutes left in regulation to cut the Ducks lead to, 4-3. The Stars continued to push towards the end, but ended up falling short. They had eight shots in the period to the Ducks’ 13.
Stars’ Reaction after the Game:
“We had a tough start,” Jamie Benn said according to dallasnews.com. “They came out hot in their building. They are really good in this rink. I thought we battled back pretty good there but it just wasn’t enough,” as he continued.
“I think we started not very well and they get the one breakaway and started the scoring,” Lehtonen said according to dallasnews.com. “They have one win and we don’t have any. It was good that we were able to score goals and play well but it still sucks to lose,” as he continued.
The Stars put up a valuable effort almost coming back to push the game into overtime after being down, 4-0, but at the end of the day you cannot afford to bury yourselves early on the road if you are hoping to pull off the upset in this series. Not having one of their best defenseman in Brenden Dillon did not help at all. Goalie Kari Lehtonen has to be better and guys like forward Ryan Garbutt have to keep their composure no matter what the situation is. They will look to even up the series at a game apiece in Game 2 on Friday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Series to Date:
Game 1: Ducks 4 Stars 3 – Ducks Lead 1-0
4/18 Stars vs Ducks 9pm
4/21 Ducks vs Stars 8:30pm
4/23 Ducks vs Stars 7pm
4/25 Stars vs Ducks 9:30pm *If Necessary
4/27 Ducks vs Stars TBD *If Necessary
4/29 Stars vs Ducks TBD *If Necessary