“Don’t get fooled by the score. We’re not going to win games playing like that. That’s just reality,” Ruff said. “I don’t want them fooled by we got back in it. We need to play better. I think they saw that.”
The Stars fell behind 4-0 in the game and then scored three unanswered goals to pull within a goal before falling in Game 1 of the first round Western Conference playoff series. Ruff said some nerves, some mistakes and a couple of bad penalties put the Stars in that 4-0 hole.
“Energy and emotion was high, everything was riding high,” Ruff said. “The energy in the building was great. A lot of our guys experienced this for the first time. It was my job to get them in the right place and they weren’t quite in the right place yesterday.”
Nine Stars made their Stanley Cup Playoffs debut Wednesday night, almost half the players in the Dallas lineup.
“It was the first playoff game for a lot of guys, but we don’t want to use that as an excuse,” said captain Jamie Benn. “We know how we have to play to beat these guys and we’re just going to need a real strong effort tomorrow.”
The focus on a stronger effort was underway Thursday. The team held a meeting and video session to get them headed in the right direction for the second game of the series, which is Friday in Anaheim.
“It wasn’t a yell and scream meeting. It was here’s what it was and here’s what we need to correct it and let’s get at her tomorrow,” Ruff said. “I had the longest video session of the year this year, and a bunch of it was a reminder of what we do well, and there were a lot of clips of when we are not going well what it looks like. We are a speed and transition team and we need the puck. I thought sometimes we gave it up too soon. Sometimes we didn’t have very good support.”
Although Ruff didn’t want his team to get fooled by the final score in Wednesday’s game, the players still gained some confidence from how they played over the final 30 minutes. And the hope is that Thursday’s work off the ice pushed them in right direction.
“Guys are really positive. We know we can play, we know we can play with these guys. We just have to limit our mistakes and play our game,” said forward Alex Chiasson. “We obviously didn’t play the way we did the last month or so. We did a little bit of video this morning, looked at a few things we’d like to change for tomorrow. I am sure this group of guys will come back and play well.”
Dillon still not skating, Sceviour fine after collision with boards
Brenden Dillon, who missed Wednesday’s playoff opener with a lower body injury, did not skate during Thursday’s optional practice. The Stars defenseman was injured in Friday’s game against St. Louis and hasn’t been on skates since. He is listed as day to day.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff had no new update on Thursday and drew some laughs when asked if Dillon was close to skating.
“The room is approximately 150 feet from the rink, which means he is close,” Ruff said.
Forward Colton Sceviour said he is fine after slamming into the boards late in the second period of Wednesday night’s game. Sceviour did return for the third period.
“My pride was hurt a little bit,” said Sceviour. “I hit it hard, I was shaken up, but nothing.”
Ducks watch: Getzlaf probable, Beleskey questionable
Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf is expected to play Friday after taking a puck to the face off the stick of Tyler Seguin late in Wednesday’s game. The Ducks said Getzlaf suffered a facial laceration and receive several stitches. X-rays were negative.
Getzlaf had one goal and one assist in Wednesday’s game, and the Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was heaping praise on his team’s captain.
“That’s who he is and why he is the captain and has won two gold medals and Stanley Cup,” said Boudreau. “He’s a battler and a gamer. He won’t look too pretty, but he’ll be playing.”
Getzlaf’s teammates were happy he was fine, and joking about it as well.
“It’s scary when anybody takes a puck to the face, especially when it is someone as important to our team as he is. He’ll be back,” said defenseman Ben Lovejoy. “Luckily he’s married with a couple kids. He’s not out there trying to impress people with his face. This is playoff hockey. I think he looks very good.”
Forward Matt Beleskey, who left Wednesday’s game midway through the third period with a lower body injury, is questionable for Friday’s game. Beleskey, who scored a power play goal Wednesday, has been playing on Anaheim’s top line with Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
“We haven’t had the same lineup twice in a row all year, so I don’t think it’s really going to affect us that much” Boudreau said. “We’re going to miss Matt, if he doesn’t play, because he’s a good player.”
Quotable: Stars coach Lindy Ruff
“The players get to experience the day after a loss. That’s the first experience of being in the playoffs. You’ve got a best-of-seven, you lose a big game and now you’re facing a game where we can shift momentum back in our favor or they can put even more pressure on us. That is something else our team has to experience.”
Quotable: Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau
“The more you put between yourself and the opposition the easier it is to win the series. Last year, for example, we never got two games above Detroit. It was always win one, lose one, win one lose one and that becomes pretty tight. We are going to put our best foot forward and see where it takes us.”
Game 1: Wed, April 16, Dallas at Anaheim: Ducks 4, Stars 3 (Anaheim leads series 1-0)
Game 2: Fri, April 18, Dallas at Anaheim, 9 p.m., Fox Sports Southwest/NBC Sports Network/TSN
Game 3: Mon, April 21, Anaheim at Dallas, 8:30 p.m., TXA 21/NBC Sports Network/TSN
Game 4: Wed, April 23, Anaheim at Dallas, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Southwest/CNBC/TSN
*Game 5: Fri, April 25, Dallas at Anaheim, 9:30 p.m., Fox Sports Southwest/NBC Sports Network/TSN
*Game 6: Sun, April 27, Anaheim at Dallas, TBD, Fox Sports Southwest/TSN
*Game7: Tue, April 29, Dallas at Anaheim, TBA, Fox Sports Southwest/TSN
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.