Teemu Selanne

Stars chase Andersen, tie series with Ducks 2-2

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The Dallas Stars found themselves down 2-0 in Game 4, but much like in this first-round series itself, they resolved to get back into it. They did more than that on Wednesday, in fact, storming back against the Anaheim Ducks to win 4-2 and tie the series 2-2.

This comeback win also prompted Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau to yank Frederik Andersen in the third period, likely inspiring some to wonder if there’s uncertainty regarding who’s the go-to guy in net. Then again, that might not really be that good of a thing for Dallas, as Jonas Hiller carried the ball for much of this season and has a lot on the line if he’s given a chance to start.

The Stars rode third-period goals from Cody Eakin and Alex Goligoski to secure the win. Here are video clips of the game-winner and the 4-2 insurance goal:

Goaltending isn’t the only area of concern for the Ducks. Even with Ryan Getzlaf mysteriously out of action for Game 4, beloved veteran Teemu Selanne was a healthy scratch, prompting plenty of late criticism:

Of course, the Devil’s Advocate argument would point to “The Finnish Flash” only have one assist in the three games he appeared in during the playoffs, but the bottom line is that a lot of people are doing some second-guessing right now.

Really, it was a bit of a nightmare for the Ducks tonight, especially as things got ugly late in the contest. Antoine Roussel even managed to draw Corey Perry into a fight in the closing minutes:

Stars blog Defending Big D noted that Boudreau and the Ducks were already losing their cool regarding some of the Stars’ pesty players after Game 3. That testiness is probably boiling over to full-blown hatred by now (although, to be honest, it’s possible that disdain was already deep from their days as Pacific Division opponents).

On paper, the Stars seemed like they might be a sneaky-tough out for the Anaheim Ducks despite being the bottom-ranked West team in the playoffs (much like the Detroit Red Wings seemed like they might be a challenge for the Boston Bruins). They’ve fit that bill so far, sending this series back to Anaheim tied 2-2 … essentially “holding serve.”

For the Ducks, it’s gut-check time, as they face the uncomfortable possibility of following two excellent regular seasons with two first-round series struggles.

Ducks’ Getzlaf (upper body) isn’t available for Game 4 (Updated)

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The Anaheim Ducks were forced to make yet another change ahead of tonight’s contest against Dallas.

Ryan Getzlaf is day-to-day with a upper-body injury and isn’t available for Game 4, per the Ducks’ Twitter account. He took a puck to the face on Wednesday, but had been playing despite significant swelling.

Rickard Rakell will play in his first postseason game in Getzlaf’s place. The 20-year-old forward has 22 games worth of NHL experience and has four career assists.

Getzlaf had 31 goals and 87 points in 77 games in the regular season and has already contributed four points in the first round.

This won’t change the fact that Teemu Selanne will be kept out of tonight’s game as a healthy scratch. Emerson Etem, 21, is also making his series debut.

Despite the loss of Getzlaf, Anaheim will try to bounce back after suffering a 3-0 loss in Game 3 on Monday.

Update: Getzlaf is back in Anaheim and getting treated in the hopes of being available for Game 5, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire.

Related:

WATCH LIVE: Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars (Game 4)

WATCH LIVE: Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars (Game 4)

Anaheim has a 2-1 series lead over the Stars, but all is not right with the Ducks. Defenseman Stephane Robidas is out with a fractured right leg and the decision was made to list future Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne as a healthy scratch.

In Selanne’s place, the Ducks will use 21-year-old Emerson Etem in the hopes that he can provide Anaheim with a spark after Dallas won 3-0 on Monday.

The Ducks won their division for the second straight season, but in 2013 they still lost in the first round in seven games. A win tonight would go a long way towards the Ducks ensuring that history doesn’t repeat itself.

The contest will start at 8:00 p.m. ET and will be on CNBC. You can also stream it live:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Related:

The loss of Robidas is a ‘huge loss’ for the Ducks

Stars frustrate Ducks’ star players in Game 3 win

Duck drama: Selanne to sit as healthy scratch in Game 4

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After going pointless in back-to-back games and receiving his lowest ice time of the series on Monday, Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne will be parked as a healthy scratch for tonight’s Game 4 in Dallas.

Selanne confirmed the news Wednesday morning and, according to the O.C. Register, recently recalled speedster Emerson Etem will draw into the lineup in Selanne’s place.

“I’m disappointed,” Selanne said, per the Calgary Sun. “I want to play, but I can’t really control it right now.”

Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau hinted after Game 3 — a 3-0 loss in which the Ducks failed to beat Kari Lehtonen on 37 shots — that he was considering a lineup change and, based on history and numbers, it’s not totally surprising that Selanne’s the guy. Anaheim has rested the 43-year-old on a number of occasions this year and his ice time was almost non-existent in the third period on Monday, as he received just two shifts.

Selanne also hasn’t registered a point since assisting on Matt Beleskey’s game-winning tally in Game 1. Per the Register, tonight will mark the first time the Finnish Flash has sat as a postseason healthy scratch since it happened with Colorado in 2004.

 

PHT Morning Skate: Jackets, Stars, ‘Hawks seek to tie things up

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It’s just the kind of thing you want on a night filled with playoff games: Three teams with the opportunity to tie things up and force a best-of-three finish. If you’re a fan of the other teams, then you’re hoping they can take a commanding 3-1 lead before heading back home.

Such is the case tonight. The Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, and Chicago Blackhawks are each hoping to make their series 2-2 and the fun part is, after how they’ve all played in the postseason it could happen.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s $10 to join and first prize is $350. Starts Wednesday at 7pm ETHere’s the FanDuel link.

Game 4: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins [Pittsburgh leads series 2-1] (7:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

The Blue Jackets have to be kicking themselves for being down in this series. In the two games they’ve lost, they held 3-1 leads only to see them evaporate into 4-3 losses. Of course, the Jackets’ Game 2 win was also a 4-3 decision so there’s that, but the fact they held two-goal leads in Games 1 and 3 and came away with losses has to sting.

Does the blame fall on Sergei Bobrovsky or the Jackets for pulling back the reins and trying to protect the lead? One thing’s for sure this postseason — trying to sit on a lead hasn’t exactly worked for anyone. After a second tough loss, expect to see the Penguins be out for blood.

One thing that has to make people nervous? Sidney Crosby has yet to be a dominant player. He has four assists in three games, which is fine, but can you say he’s taken a game over yet? Not really and that’s something that won’t last for long.

Game 4: Dallas Stars vs. Anaheim Ducks [Anaheim leads series 2-1] (8:00 p.m. ET — CNBC)

The Stars showed in Game 3 that they can be every bit as tough as the Ducks can be. Jamie Benn exerted his star player status and Antoine Roussel proved to be the perfect playoff irritant as they were able to get Anaheim chasing them on the scoreboard and around the ice looking for payback.

The Stars will need more of that and perhaps a little more Tyler Seguin if they want to send this series back to Anaheim tied 2-2. The Ducks are hoping to see Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry steer away from the extracurricular stuff and get back to scoring goals by the bunches.

If there’s an area the Ducks could use a hand in it’s secondary scoring. Anaheim’s top line has four of their seven goals in the postseason and on the road, it’s a little easier to see them get loaded up against. It’s time for the old guys (Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu) and the young guys (Jakob Silfverberg, Devante Smith-Pelly) alike to step up.

Game 4: Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues [St. Louis leads series 2-1] (9:30 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

The Blackhawks found a way to scrape back in Game 3 with a 2-0 win, but it was anything but convincing. Chicago lived on the edge holding onto a 1-0 lead through most of the game while the Blues continued to plug away looking to steal yet another game away late.

Lesson learned by the Blackhawks? They found a way to win it regardless. They may have a boatload of Stanley Cup-winning experience, but losing the first two games the way they did can make the mental game tougher. Now it’s up to Jonathan Toews and company to find another way to break through the Blues’ defense. Another top-notch start from Corey Crawford wouldn’t hurt either.

The Blues don’t exactly have a lot to figure out after Game 3. If anything, it was their best game of the playoffs to this point. Ryan Miller played a strong game and the top scorers (Alex Steen, Vladimir Tarasenko) looked as dangerous as ever. If there’s anything Ken Hitchcock might stress for Game 4 it’s to keep doing what they have been and the breaks will come.