The Dallas Stars are down 0-2 in their first round playoff series with the Anaheim Ducks, but they remain confident as they return home for Games 3 and 4 of the series.
The Stars feel good about their play from the midway point of Game 1, but they just haven’t been able to get the bottom line result, especially in Friday’s 3-2 loss in the second game of the series. They outshot the Ducks 36-19 Friday, but couldn’t cash in on their chances and the Ducks made the most of a couple Dallas mistakes.
“We could be 1-1, we could be 2-0 but we are 0-2,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We definitely haven’t been dominated. In fact, the last game we dominated, we just didn’t win. We’ve got to clean up some of our mistakes and take advantage of some of those key opportunities.”
Overcoming that 0-2 deficit won’t be easy. It means winning four of the next five games against the top-seeded team in the West. But the Stars can’t win all of those games at once or even two of them, so they’ll look to win Game 3 Monday and get right back in the series.
“It’s one game at a time,” said forward Tyler Seguin. “It’s pretty hard to win on the road and the goal is to try to steal one. We have an opportunity here at home to do the same thing they did to us. We’re going to take it one period at a time, and we are looking forward to Game 3.”
The Stars are 8-1-1 over their last 10 games at American Airlines Center and 10-2-1 in their last 13 at home.
“We’ve played really good hockey, especially the last 15-20 games [at home],” said Ruff. “In front of our crowd, I think that added energy will help our team.”
And the players are looking forward to the atmosphere for Monday’s game at the AAC, where there hasn’t been a Stanley Cup Playoff game since 2008.
“I’m excited,” Seguin said. “Be interesting to see the atmosphere, especially with these fans not seeing playoff hockey in a while. I think everyone’s very excited.”
“It’s going to be a great atmosphere, obviously,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “Our fans have backed us up all year, so it’s going to be fun to go out there and play in front of them. It’s going to be our first playoff game in a while here, so we’re looking forward to it.”
Benn on Perry’s stickwork: ‘That’s playoff hockey’
The league took no action against Ducks forward Corey Perry for using his stick to target Stars captain Jamie Benn in a sensitive area in Friday night’s game.
On Saturday, Benn shrugged off the stickwork by Perry, his friend and linemate during the 2014 Olympics.
“I think that is playoff hockey,” Benn said. “As of right now we are not friends. It’s Stars vs. Ducks and it is only going to heat up from here.”
Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon has missed the last three games, including the first two games of the playoffs, with a lower body injury. Dillon was injured in the next to last game of the regular season against St. Louis April 11, and hasn’t skated since.
The hope is that Dillon might be able to skate Sunday.
“There’s a chance he could skate [Sunday]. So we’ll see how that goes,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “But skating once and trying to play [Monday] is a pretty big task, really.”
*Saturday was a travel day for the Stars. They arrived in Dallas late in the afternoon. They are scheduled to practice Sunday morning in Frisco.
*The Ducks held an optional skate in Anaheim Saturday and then flew to Dallas, where they will practice on Sunday.
*Ducks forward Matt Beleskey, who missed Friday’s game with a lower body injury, did not skate Saturday but will travel with the team to Dallas, according to the Ducks official Twitter feed.
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.