Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ducks not cooked yet...

Two things quickly became apparent on Tuesday night, one the Anaheim Ducks aren’t quite ready to surrender their Stanley Cup title without a fight (or two) and number two, the Dallas Stars seem to have some kind of performance anxiety problem when they play at home.

Game three provided more of what hockey fans expected to see from the Anaheim Ducks, a physical presence on the ice that set the tone for the game, and a spurt of scoring that set the Stars back on their heels and quieted the Dallas crowd before they even had a chance to warm up their vocal cords.

Anaheim was all over this one; they battled the Stars in the corners, in both ends of the rink and even made the neutral zone a dangerous place to wander without proper attention.

It was the long awaited explosion from the Ducks that everyone suspected was building, after two games in Anaheim that revealed a surprisingly unprepared to play squad that let the Stars take a two game lead back to Dallas with them.

Tuesday night provided pay back and a not so gentle reminder that the ducks won last years Stanley Cup through hard hitting and hard work, two traits that they exhibited quite dramatically for the Stars and their fans.

Led by a two goal night from Chris Pronger who so far had been conspicuous by his absence thus far in the series, the night was quickly on the road to victory for Anaheim. Dallas seemed to have more than enough troubles rebuilding their momentum of the last two games and instead played far too tentatively and didn't respond to the Ducks as they clawed their way back into the quarterfinal series.

The Ducks recaptured some of that swagger on Tuesday night, a bravado that was surely missing in games one and two, now that they have it back, the Stars may find that they're about to travel into familiar territory, having just registered their seventh playoff loss on home ice in eight games.

Things don't bode well for snapping that undesired mark by their inability to push the Ducks to the brink of extinction on Tuesday, instead they've put a little air under their visitors wings, something that they may find won't be good for their playoff longevity.

Los Angeles Times-- Ducks answer back Stars
Orange County Register-- Ducks win to shift momentum in Dallas
Dallas Morning News-- Ducks' defense improves in Game 3
. Stats Pack

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