Anaheim Ducks (31-28-6 for 68 points with 17 games left; 10 games at home with 7 games remaining on the road; 5-4-1 in last 10)
Dallas Stars (30-26-8 for 68 points with 18 games left; 8 games at home and 10 on the road; 3-6-1 in last 10)
7:00 PM PT
The other Stars guys at SBN: Defending Big D
Rarely does a team choke away a game the way the Dallas Stars did last night. It was a slightly bizarre game throughout, but you could genuinely feel the game slip away when Marty Turco comically hacked away at the Handzus that rocks the cradle.
The Stars were fighting through a 4 on 3 at that time and adding another penalty put quite the burden on the Stars' 4-2 lead over the Kings. Three goals later and the Stars were one point poorer.
At this point in the season, it is plainly obvious that nothing (except maybe penalty minutes) will come easy for the Ducks or the Stars. After the jump, we take an in-depth look at this gigantic Pacific division game.
The ("Probable") Goaltenders
You know it's a bad game when Mike Heika writes the "Get rid of Turco?" post on Dallas Stars blog.
Is there any other way to look at this game other than a joust for one of those playoff spots? It's pretty hard to imagine both of these teams sticking around the right end of the bubble.
The Ducks start a five-game homestand against the Stars in which every game is against a Western Conference playoff contender. Anaheim has to hope that their homestand is more successful than the Stars 0-fer homestand.
First game after the deadline
The Duckies will have to manage without quite a few role players tonight. Kent "Husky" Huskins, Steve Montador, Brendan Morrison and ... what's his name are no longer wearing the bland Anaheim duds.
Oddly enough, Travis Moen was shipped out of Anaheim so the eye gouge heard round the Pacific will not be avenged. Perhaps the Stars' listless loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins during Otter's one-game suspension will be enough?
It's easy to underplay the Ducks' revenge angle since the teams play about 20,000 times per season, but it is quite plausible that people will look back to this game as a pivotal point in both team's seasons. So, it begs the question: will the Ducks avenge their first-round defeat last season by c-blocking the Stars from making the playoffs?
Righting a wrong vs. Fatigue
The table's set for the Ducks. The Stars, as we mentioned, just came off a heart breaking loss to the Kings and will be playing a back-to-back.
Of course, the most recent "flop" resulted in the Stars power-slamming the Toronto Maple Leafs with a jaw dropping 10-goal output.
Which team will show up today? I guess that's a question both Stars and Ducks fans find themselves asking more than they would hope this season.
Prediction: Ducks 4, Stars 3. Hat-trick by Morrison, GWG by the ghost of Sammy Pahlsson and Turco decapitates Corey Perry.