If the Ottawa Senators weren't so pre-occupied with just plain survival this playoff season, they might have taken time to wonder why they couldn't have faced the Ducks that took on the Stars on Thursday night.
Anaheim and Dallas opened up their playoff series thursday night, and it was an all Dallas affair as the Stars, outskated, out hit and outscored the Ducks, thanks to some frequent power play time and success that came from it.
The always boisterous Ducks took 1o penalties in the first two periods, a streak of poor discipline that was reflected in the 4-0 score at the end of the night, as Dallas took full advantage of the gifts provided by their California hosts.
Dallas which normally struggles through the playoffs, seemed to gain confidence as game one progressed, quieting those nay sayers who predicted yet another early exit from the Stars. Instead, it seemed that the Ducks were the team that were unsure where they wanted their game to go, with the physical play they are noted having little effect on the Stars, the chippiness quickly entered into their game, an achilles heel that certainly cost them on Thursday.
It's the key to taking on the Ducks, withstand the all out assault that comes your way early and then let the penalties take their toll on an Anaheim team that couldn't find an answer for their unsuccessful tries at Dallas goaltender Marty Turco.
Jean Sebastien Giguere did not have one of his better games in the Anaheim nets, but when you're frequently facing a power play and your defense can't clear a puck, then bad things are going to happen.
Thursday night they happened often, leaving the Ducks to work out a new game plan for game two, which could be beneficial for Dallas. If Anaheim finds that their normal intimidation game doesn't work, then there's not much left in their repertoire.
Game one may have been that one game that every team faces where all your plans go down the drain pretty quickly, then again it could be that the style of play that the Ducks brought to the rink every night has a shorter shelf life in the playoffs.
Either way, Anaheim will have to figure out pretty quick which way that wind is blowing, otherwise the prospect of a repeat year with Stanley doesn't seem likely.
Dallas News-- Dallas Stars see Ducks turn into dodos
Fort Worth Star Telegram-- Stars take 1-0 lead in playoffs vs. Ducks
Fort Worth Star Telegram-- Game one victory is sign for Stars fans
Los Angeles Times-- Ducks flop in game one
Los Angeles Times-- Ducks' loss provides plenty of cause for concern
Orange County Register-- Ducks fall prey to bad habits
Globe and Mail-- Ducks denied in opener
CBC Sports-- Stars blank undisciplined Ducks
NHL.com-- Stats pack