2014 NHL Playoffs: Anaheim Ducks Set Tone With Opening Victory
The Anaheim Ducks scored early and often to beat the Dallas Stars in the opening game of their playoff series. The Ducks finished the season with the most points in the Western Conference but are focused on making their mark in the playoffs. Last year they struggled and were unable to get out of the first round despite a terrific regular season.
This year, the Ducks got off to a great start, with Kyle Palmieri scoring less than two minutes into the game. They were able to jump out to a 4-0 lead midway through the second period thanks to a couple of power play goals. The Stars tried to increase their physicality in hopes of igniting their play, but the Ducks were able to answer. A questionable penalty against the Ducks allowed the Stars to get score late in the second period, and they would add another before the period ended.
The Stars made a game of it in the third period, increasing their intensity and scoring another goal to close the gap to one. The Stars kept up the pressure as the Ducks struggled to clear the puck out of their zone. However, they were unable to come up with the equalizer as the Ducks held strong.
Unfortunately, Ryan Getzlaf left late in the third period after he got hit with a puck. Matt Beleskey also left earlier in the game with an injury. Both are key players the Ducks cannot afford to lose.
The Ducks were fortunate to come away with a win, but their early spree of goals set the tone of the series. They needed a victory to give them the confidence to begin the playoffs. They did not back down from the physical play of the Stars and will look to build upon their series lead.