Ducks-Stars Game Breakers
Ryan Getzlaf -- The third-year pro seems to get better with every game and is emerging as one of the League's top playmaking centers. After being rewarded early in the season with a new five-year contract, Getzlaf has quickly repaid the franchise by scoring more than 20 goals and adding more than 50 assists. He had 17 points in 21 playoff games in 2007, and is primed to help the Ducks go on another run this time around.
Scott Niedermayer -- The future Hall-of-Fame defenseman came out of retirement in early December and basically picked up where he left off, scoring a goal in the All-Star Game just a month later. His ability and experience on the blue line will be invaluable for the Ducks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The free-agent addition of Mathieu Schneider last summer will only make things easier for Niedermayer. A born leader and winner.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere -- It's very rare when the Conn Smythe Trophy winner comes from a team that doesn't win the Stanley Cup, but such was the case for the Ducks' goaltender in 2003. In 2007, Giguere won that elusive ring, as he posted a 1.97 goals-against average in 18 postseason appearances. Giguere can fly under the radar sometimes because of all the talent in front of him, but the 30-year-old has demonstrated on several occasions that he has the ability to steal games.
Mike Ribeiro -- The Montreal native was rewarded with a five-year extension in January, and rightfully so. The Stars' top center enjoyed a career season, as he set new highs for goals, assists and plus-minus. A terrific playmaker with a scoring touch, Ribeiro will be watched closely by top defensemen from opposing teams throughout the postseason.
Brad Richards -- The 27-year-old was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning at the trade deadline mainly because of what he was able to accomplish in 2004, when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason's Most Valuable Player. Had five assists in his first game as a Star, but has slowed down a tad since. Dallas is hoping he'll turn it up a notch when it needs him most, which is now.
Marty Turco -- After two sub-par postseasons, the Stars' netminder was fabulous in 2007 and could hardly be blamed for the team's first-round loss to Vancouver. In those seven games, Turco posted a 1.30 goals-against average and a .952 save percentage. All three of his wins were shutouts. He'll need to bring his “A” game again if this time around.
Author: NHL.com Staff