NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, April 27th (All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (3-2) at Dallas Stars (2-3), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks hope to end the Western Conference quarterfinals with their first road win of the series, as they visit the Dallas Stars for Sunday's Game 6 at American Airlines Center.
The home team has won all five games in this series so far, with top-seeded Anaheim taking Games 1, 2 and 5 at the Honda Center. The Ducks' first two wins came by one-goal margins, but on Friday night the club exploded for a 6-2 rout of the Stars.
Dallas won Game 3 at home by a 3-0 score and picked up a 4-2 victory in the following contest on Wednesday. They hope to go 3-0 for the series at American Airlines Center with another win in Game 6.
If the Stars can stave off elimination tonight, then the series will be decided Tuesday evening in Anaheim.
Although he was a game-time decision heading into Friday's tilt, Ryan Getzlaf was the hero for the Ducks in Game 5. Anaheim's captain registered a goal and two assists in his return to the lineup, helping spark an impressive offensive display for the home team.
Getzlaf, who missed Game 4 with an undisclosed upper-body injury, made an immediate impact and earned an assist on the game's first goal. He also assisted on power-play goal by Mathieu Perreault to give the Ducks a 3-1 edge early in the second period and tallied on his own to make it a 5-2 game at 4:30 of the final stanza.
"Every time you get your captain back, it's going to make you feel better," said Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau. "It's like your big brother is back. Guys felt a little more secure, and he came out and played a really great game, as well as the other guys."
Getzlaf has three goals and four assists in four games this series. He now has 66 career playoff points for the most in franchise history, passing teammate Teemu Selanne, who has recorded 64 of his 83 career postseason points with Anaheim.
The 43-year-old Selanne, who is retiring after this season, was back in the lineup Friday after being a healthy scratch in Game 4.
Pulled from Wednesday's 4-2 setback, Frederik Andersen, like the rest of his Anaheim teammates, bounced back with a 34-save performance.
The Ducks, who set a club playoff record with four power-play goals, scored three times in a 5:42 span early in the third period to turn a close contest in a rout. Anaheim went 4-for-6 on the power play, while the Stars failed to score on seven chances with the man advantage.
"We lost the special teams battle, which was the difference tonight," said Stars head coach Lindy Ruff.
Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen was given the hook in the third after allowing five goals on 21 shots.
Jamie Benn had a goal for the Stars and is the first player in franchise history to open his postseason career with points in each of his first five games since Steve Payne and Bobby Smith in 1980. Benn has four goals and an assist over the five games.
Anaheim is trying to reach the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2009 when it beat San Jose in the conference quarterfinals before falling to Detroit in seven games.
The Stars are in the postseason for the first time since 2008 when they reached the conference finals. Dallas last suffered a first-round exit in a seven-game loss to Vancouver in 2007.
04/27 10:27:57 ET