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Stars' Dillon out again vs. Ducks in Game 4

by Mike Battaglino


(Anaheim leads best-of-7 series 2-1)


Big story: Each team will play Game 4 of this Western Conference First Round Series without one of its regular defensemen, but the Dallas Stars look like they will get theirs back at some point and the Anaheim Ducks will not. Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas, a former Stars player, is out for the rest the Stanley Cup Playoffs after sustaining a fractured right leg in the first minute of the second period of Game 3, which was won by Dallas 3-0.

Robidas also fractured the leg Nov. 29 and returned to play March 18.

"You want to win for him," Anaheim forward Andrew Cogliano told the team website Tuesday. "When you see a guy go down and break his leg for the second time in six months, you feel it down deep. I think a lot of guys did feel that and we're looking to make things right."

Team Scope:

Ducks: Without Robidas, who played about 20 minutes in each of the first two games, won by Anaheim, it can use either former Stars defenseman Mark Fistric or Luca Sbisa.

"It's an opportunity for other guys to play bigger minutes," Sbisa said. "[Stephane] was a huge part of our team, and I think the guys will step up, play for him, play for the team and get it done."

Game 3, at American Airlines Center, had a more physical nature than the first two played at Honda Center, with the Stars dictating most of it.

"You counteract that if you score a couple of goals on the power play," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "If you're not going to make them pay when they're doing things, automatically they're going to keep doing things because they have no fear of you."

Anaheim was 0-for-5 on the power play Monday after going 0-for-3 in Game 2.

Stars: Dallas defenseman Brenden Dillon, who has not played in this series because of a lower-body injury, participated with teammates at an optional skate Tuesday.

"It was awesome," Dillon told the Stars website. "It was a step in the right direction, especially at a time like this where we are making a hopeful big playoff run, and the guys are doing great. Especially after last night, it's great to get out and have a smile on your face and share things."

Coach Lindy Ruff ruled out Dillon for Game 4, but said a return for Game 5 on Friday is possible. Ruff also addressed making forward Erik Cole a healthy scratch for Game 3. Cole is expected to sit again in Game 4.

Cole does not have a point in eight games since returning from an upper-body injury April 5. He was minus-2 in the first two games of the series.

"That was just my decision, a coach's decision," Ruff said. "What was behind it was, I don't think since he's come back from injury his play has been where I needed it to be. In fact, there was some situations that have been tough on the team. You have to make decisions about that stuff and that was a hard decision. That was just my decision."

Who's hot: Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist in each of the first two games. … Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen made 37 saves for the shutout Monday, his first Stanley Cup Playoff win. Forward Jamie Benn has a point in each game. Forward Colton Sceviour has three points after getting 12 in 26 regular-season games.

Injury report: Ducks forward Matt Beleskey (lower body) has not played since Game 1. Forward Tim Jackman (hand) is out. … The Stars have no injuries other than Dillon's.

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