Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Preview: Stars At Ducks

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[April 16, 2014]  The Dallas Stars had considerable success against the Anaheim Ducks during the regular season. They hope to continue the trend Wednesday as they visit the Pacific Division champions for Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series. Dallas won two of the three meetings this season, dropping a 6-3 decision at Anaheim in October before turning the tables at home a month later and posting a 2-0 shutout on the road on Feb. 1.

The Stars claimed the second wild-card spot in the West, edging Phoenix by two points to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2008. Top-seeded Anaheim captured its second straight division crown and third overall by ending the season with a flourish, winning nine of its final 12 games and each of its last four. The Ducks and Stars are meeting in the playoffs for the third time  Anaheim was victorious in 2003 while Dallas triumphed in 2008.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS, FSN Southwest (Dallas), FSN West (Anaheim)


ABOUT THE STARS (40-31-11, 5th in Central Division): Brenden Dillon will be a game-time decision due to a lower-body injury that caused him to miss the regular-season finale. The defenseman did not practice Tuesday and will be replaced in the lineup by either Aaron Rome or Kevin Connauton should he be unable to play. Veteran left wing Ray Whitney is likely to return to action after missing the final five games of the season with a lower-body injury.

ABOUT THE DUCKS (54-20-8, 1st in Pacific Division): The big question surrounding Anaheim is goaltending  as in, who gets the start in the opener? Veteran Jonas Hiller struggled down the stretch, going 0-2-1 in his final three starts while winning only five of his last 15 decisions (5-7-3). Rookie Frederik Andersen had a strong rookie season, winning his last four decisions en route to a 20-5-0 record.

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OVERTIME

  1. Anaheim RW Teemu Selanne enters his final postseason as the Ducks' all-time leader in playoff goals (33) and points (63).

  2. Stars G Kari Lehtonen will be appearing in the playoffs for just the second time in his career. The 30-year-old Finn went 0-2 with a 5.59 goals-against average in two games for the Atlanta Thrashers in 2007.

  3. The Ducks set a number of franchise records this season, including wins (54), points (116) and goals (263).

SERIES PREDICTION: Ducks in 5

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