NHL Playoffs: Dallas Stars vs Anaheim Ducks Preview

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Stats

Dallas Stars Anaheim Ducks
Record 40-31-11 15th 54-20-8 2nd
GF/Game 2.82 10th 3.21 1st
GA/Game 2.72 17th 2.48 9th
5-on-5 Close SF/60 31.7 6th 30.4 8th
5-on-5 Close SA/60 29.7 17th 28.5 12th
Fenwick Close 51.90 9th 50.20 15th
5-on-5 Close Save % .915 24th .927 12th
5-on-4 GF/60 5.4 22nd 5.3 24th
# of PP's/Gm 3.54 4th 3.35 14th
4-on-5 GA/60 6.5 22nd 6.2 18th
# of PK's/Gm 3.21 11th 3.29 16th

Background

The Dallas Stars have made the most of their first season in the Central Division, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2008 and featuring Tyler Seguin as a legitimate star (pun very much intended) first-line center. Seguin and Jamie Benn have earned MVP attention for their dynamic 1-2 punch at the top of the Dallas scoring list, and they boast enough depth to present a threat more often than not. While far from a complete Stanley Cup contender, the Stars are a team on the rise, and any success achieved this spring is just icing on the cake.

For the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks, anything less than a deep playoff run will represent a disappointment, after Bruce Boudreau has led the team to their two best regular-season records in a row while behind the Ducks bench. While Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are the leaders up front, there are 8 other Anaheim players with double-digit goals on the season, so defeating the Ducks takes more than just slowing down the top line. Without a doubt, all eyes will be on Teemu Selanne as he makes his final chase for the Stanley Cup as well.

These two teams have met twice in the playoffs before, with Anaheim winning a second-round series in 2003 and Dallas returning the favor in the first round of 2008. During the regular season, the Stars took two out of three games from the Ducks.

OTF Staff Picks

Dirk: Dallas has been a great story this year, but I like Anaheim in 6.

Jon: Anaheim in 7. I really think the Stars can pull the upset here. Heck, I almost want them to, but they will need a lot to go in their favor. The Ducks' goaltending will figure it out, and even getting pushed to a seventh game in another first round series won't deter them. Yet.

Jason: Dallas in 7. I don't know why, but I feel like the Stars are a pretty dangerous 8-seed.

George: Anaheim in 4. The Ducks are, top to bottom, a superior team to the Stars -- just like the Predators! I picked Dallas to win the Central Division before the season, and that was an overestimation, certainly. The addition of Tyler Seguin paid dividends, but this group simply can't compete with Anaheim's size and strength.

Jeremy: Dallas in 5. I think the Kelly Green Army will sneak up and surprise the Ducks. Anaheim's goaltending can be lights-out or suspect and with Dallas playing a super fast and aggressive game, it'll catch the Ducks flat-footed.

Ducks vs Stars Schedule

Game Date Time (ET) Western Conference First Round National TV
1 Wed, Apr 16 10 p.m. Dallas at Anaheim NBCSN, TSN
2 Fri, Apr 18 10 p.m. Dallas at Anaheim NBCSN, TSN
3 Mon, Apr 21 9:30 p.m. Anaheim at Dallas NBCSN, TSN
4 Wed, Apr 23 8 p.m. Anaheim at Dallas CNBC, TSN
5* Fri, Apr 25 10:30 p.m. Dallas at Anaheim NBCSN, TSN
6* Sun, Apr 27 TBD Anaheim at Dallas TSN
7* Tue, Apr 29 TBD Dallas at Anaheim TSN
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