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STARS at DUCKS
(Anaheim leads best-of-7 series, 1-0)
TV: NBCSN, TSN, RDS (JIP), FS-SW, PRIME
Big story: The Anaheim Ducks can breathe a sigh of relief after it was determined captain Ryan Getzlaf, who took a puck to the face late in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, should be able to play Game 2.
"Obviously, it was a big sigh," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That’s why he’s the captain, won two gold medals and a Stanley Cup. He’s learned from the Scotty Niedermayers and Chris Prongers who were here before him. He’s a battler and a gamer. He won’t look too pretty, but he’ll be playing.”
Getzlaf received stitches for a deep laceration, and x-rays were negative.
The Ducks have won five straight, including the regular season, after their 4-3 win against the Stars in the series opener. Anaheim also won Game 1 last season but went on to lose in a Western Conference Quarterfinals series against the Detroit Red Wings, so the Ducks are guarded this time around.
However, they didn't seem concerned about nearly blowing a 4-0 lead in Game 1.
"I don't think there's anything that says 'no killer instinct,'" center Daniel Winnik said. "We still won. I'm sure we could say that if we didn't win the game … but we still won by one goal."
Ducks: Anaheim will look to play 60 solid minutes after it nearly blew a four-goal lead in Game 1. The Ducks committed 13 giveaways, nearly negating an opening-period barrage, and gave the Stars five power plays, two on penalties for having too many men on the ice.
"We don't want to take five penalties," Boudreau said. "We want to make better line changes. Those are the simple things."
Anaheim also had difficulty containing Dallas' top line of Benn, Tyler Seguin and Valeri Nichushkin, which combined for two goals, an assist and 14 shots.
"We let them back in the game," right wing Corey Perry said. "We didn't play our best game, but we turned the puck over way too much. Watching some of the tape [Thursday] morning, it was pretty evident that if you turn the puck over, they're going to counteract and use your speed against you."
Frederik Andersen, 24, became the youngest goaltender in Ducks history to appear in a playoff game. He made 32 saves and was beaten cleanly once, on Colton Sceviour's quick snap shot late in the second period.
"He played really solid," Boudreau said. "You're not going to stop the backdoor goal. The second one was screened and deflected, and the third was a great tip. Anything that he could see that he got in front of, he stopped, and that's what you ask of a goalie."
When asked if Andersen's performance warranted him getting the start in Game 2, Boudreau replied, "There's a good chance."
Stars: Dallas dressed nine players with no prior Stanley Cup Playoff experience in the series opener, and goalie Kari Lehtonen played in his first postseason game since 2007, when he was with the Atlanta Thrashers.
"We've got a lot of guys that have experienced one playoff game [who] maybe didn't react quite the way I wanted," coach Lindy Ruff said one day after his team nearly dug its way out of a 4-0 hole. "I had a good meeting this morning and tried to set them in the right direction for [Friday].
"It's my job to get them in the right place. They weren't quite in the right place [Wednesday]."
Captain Jamie Benn, who scored the Stars' first goal Wednesday, is looking for Dallas to carry over its strong play in the second half of Game 1.
"It was a lot of first playoff games for a lot of guys in here," Benn said. "But we don't want to use that as an excuse. We know how we have to play to beat these guys, and we're going to have to have another strong effort [Friday]."
Who's hot: Ducks right wing Kyle Palmieri, who opened the scoring Wednesday, has four goals, six points and is plus-6 in his past seven postseason games. Left wing Matt Beleskey had his first multi-point playoff game Wednesday, and left wing Patrick Maroon had his first career playoff point. ... Seguin has six goals in his past nine games, including a third-period goal Wednesday. Benn has three goals and three assists in his past five games.
Injury report: Anaheim right wing Tim Jackman (hand) is out. Beleskey (lower body) is day-to-day. Defenseman Mark Fistric (lower body) is on a conditioning stint with Norfolk (AHL). ... Dallas defenseman Brenden Dillon (lower body) missed Game 1 and did not skate at practice Thursday. He is listed as day-to-day, though he hasn't been on skates since he was injured last Friday against the St. Louis Blues.
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