Heading into Game One of the quarterfinals between Anaheim and Dallas, I doubt anyone could have predicted such an outcome as the 4-0 Stars barbecue of the Ducks.
The game had plenty of flair, which any viewer would have expected from these Pacific Division foes. But both teams were a different sort from their usual style, from the dropping of the puck.
The Stars almost immediately set the tone both physically and with the speed of the game—the only thing the Ducks set was in the penalty box.
Nothing would go Anaheim's way all night.
Towards the end the Ducks looked like their old selves, but by then Dallas had built up sizable momentum that kept the Ducks from scoring once on Turco who looked solid all night.
Dallas opened up its scoring with a puck bouncing off the stick of the Stars' Steve Ott at 11:25 in the first period—from here on the Ducks would lose composure and the Stars would gain the edge. It would only be a foreshadowing of the game to follow that this goal would be scored on the power play.
At 17:34 Dallas scored again on a power play, this goal coming from Loui Eriksson. At the Honda Center the Ducks faithful become utterly silent, knowing the Stars are generally one of the better teams in the NHL once they possess a lead. Heading into the locker room losing during the first intermission not only showed signs of fear from the crowd, but also the Ducks themselves.
The second would go much the same—all Dallas all the time. Two minutes into period two Getzlaf was given a roughing call and would sit to see the Stars' Jere Lehtinen score at 3:58 with a really pretty goal in front of Giguere. Ducks penalties would continue to pile up, and then again at 17:22 of the second the Stars would again light the lamp on the man advantage.
The crowd's only sounds came as the horn sounded to end the second, as they booed the 2007 Stanley Cup Champion Ducks.
The third was silent as far as goals, and only one penalty for each team. The Ducks would get lots of good chances but Turco would keep the game a shutout for the Stars. The Stars would keep the pace and outshoot the Ducks in the third as they had done in the first and second periods. Although both teams had chances in front both goaltenders looked more focused on both sides.
For the Ducks preparation for Game Two, I suggest a call to Jesus, otherwise this series could be over before it heads to the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Game Two is Saturday April 12, 2008 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California and can be seen on Versus, FSN-SW, and FSN-PT depending on the area you live in at 7 p.m. Pacific Time.