DALLAS -- The Ducks' overall skill has shined in taking a 2-0 playoff series lead, but the Dallas Stars have continued trying to lure the Western Conference top-seeded team into a more physical confrontation.
Not only did Dallas become more punchy after it trailed, 4-0, in Game 1, ultimately losing, 4-3, in Anaheim, the Stars opened Game 2 with a Ryan Garbutt high stick on Kyle Palmieri and defenseman Trevor Daley penalized for roughing Corey Perry.
As the series moves to American Airlines Center on Monday night for Dallas’ first home playoff game since May 2008, it’s a good bet that physical play increases.
“We’re obviously desperate,” Daley said following his team’s Monday morning skate. “Nobody’s
going to back down. This is too high a level, too special. We’ve had chances to win both games. We’ve just got to get going, win one in our building. We’re excited to be at home.”
The Ducks have been hit with 11 penalties through the first two games, Perry admitting his second-period slashing violation was in return for Dallas’ transgressions.
“You’ve got to take a slap, take a hit, take a punch,” Perry said. “Live and learn.”
Yet, there’s a fine line to that in playoff hockey, which Perry says he wants to straddle without spending two minutes in the penalty box. For instance, he wanted everyone to know Daley's getting atop him, pounding on him in the crease did “nothing. I’m fine.
“You’ve to get back in their faces, not just let them do what they want to do,” Perry said.
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said this is the time of the season when “courage is being able
to suck one up, take a punch to the head and keep going.”
“We got two power plays out of [Dallas’ roughness], so that was the proper response at the
time. The score of the game is a big play in that too.
“Perry’s used to that. People try to draw him into penalties. He’s such a competitive guy, he doesn’t take crap. That’s what the word discipline is all about. I’m sure he’d like to go after guys….”
Perry instead wants the Ducks to navigate the hostile home crowd by continuing to block shots in the third consecutive start for rookie goalie Frederik Andersen, who was first off the ice at Monday’s morning skate, and improve at keeping Dallas out of the Ducks’ zone.
IS HOME SWEET?: Dallas Coach Lindy Ruff said the excitement of the first playoff home game in years and his team’s season-long resolve makes him believe rallying from two games down is possible.
“We’ve answered every call of adversity,” Ruff said Monday. “We’ve got a chance to do something great. This team has never quit. We’ve bounced back from a couple skids in the season. When we had to win at the end, we won.
“Now, we’ve lost a couple, but we’re back home and we’re good at home. We need to turn the
table by playing that much better. They know the urgency, how hard it’s going to be. This building will be electric. Our fans have lifted us down the stretch.”
AS FOR THE KINGS … : Two wins from the Western Conference semifinals, the Ducks are noticing what’s going on in the Kings-San Jose series, with the Sharks scoring 13 goals to dominate Games 1 and 2.
“All of us would be lying if we said we weren’t paying attention,” said Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy, whose team plays the Sharks-Kings winner if it gets past the Stars. “We want them to go seven games, deep into overtime, we’re all cheering for the Kings to come back and win two games at home just to make things more difficult.
“Our job is far from done playing the Stars. We’ve had two even games with them. We need to
concentrate on what we can control. But on nights off, we’re all keeping one
eye on [Kings-Sharks].”
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