At the 30 minute mark of tonight’s game, the Ducks looked like they’d cruise to victory.
But that’s why they play the whole 60.
After building up a four-goal lead, the Ducks held on as the Stars rallied to come within one before ultimately losing 4-3 in Wednesday’s series opener at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Through the first half of tonight’s game, the home team dominated. Anaheim scored three times in the opening frame, the first coming just 1:23 in when Kyle Palmieri put a backhand past Kari Lehtonen. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf made it 2-0 at the 12 minute mark, and Mathieu Perreault pushed the lead to three with just 30 seconds remaining in the frame, scoring the first of two Anaheim power play goals.
The second period started much like the first, as Matt Beleskey scored with the man advantage to make it 4-0 Ducks — but that’s when things got interesting.
Dallas started to push, and was rewarded when Jamie Benn scored his first-ever playoff goal at the 16:36 mark. Less than two minutes later, Colton Sceviour scored to cut the Ducks lead to two, and the Stars went into the second intermission full of life, determined to push forward in the third.
And push they did.
Dallas scored again with just under seven minutes remaining in the game, as Tyler Seguin tipped home a Trevor Daley wrister to cut a seemingly insurmountable lead to just one. That led to some furious action down the stretch in which the Stars looked for an equalizer, but were unable to convert.
The frantic action at the end did come at a cost, though — Getzlaf was struck in the face by a Seguin shot with 16 seconds remaining. Bloodied, Getzlaf immediately left the playing surface and there was no immediate update as to his condition.