Anaheim Ducks Line Rushes vs. Dallas Stars: 10/31/2014


The Anaheim Ducks continue their roadtrip with their third game in four nights tonight against the Dallas Stars in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup. The Ducks, who were shutout 2-0 by the St. Louis Blues last night, have now dropped two of three games after winning seven in a row. The Stars, who returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since the 2007-2008 campaign, are a team headlined by their incredible team speed. This is the first matchup between these two teams since Anaheim eliminated Dallas in Game 6 last season, overcoming a 4-2 deficit by scoring two goals in the final 2:10 of regulation before Nick Bonino ended the series on the first shot in overtime.

For the Ducks, no real line changes appear to be in order. The team is a very different unit than the one against Dallas last year, with more youth and three different centerman from the Ducks squad in April. Patrick Maroon may return from an MCL sprain tonight, but it is more likely that he will play in Colorado on Sunday. William Karlsson may also draw back into the lineup after Rickard Rakell had played at center for the first two games of this roadtrip. Outside of those two players, no real lineup changes should happen.

From Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, here are the expected lineups for both teams tonight.

Anaheim Ducks Forward Lines:

Matt BeleskeyRyan GetzlafCorey Perry
Dany HeatleyRyan KeslerDevante Smith-Pelly
Andrew CoglianoNate ThompsonJakob Silfverberg
Emerson Etem – Rakell – Tim Jackman

On the Ducks’ blue-line, Mark Fistric suffered an upper-body injury in the first period in St. Louis, so it appears he will not go against his former team. That means rookie Josh Manson will be expected to make his NHL debut tonight in Dallas. Sami Vatanen has taken a big leap in replacing the production of Ben Lovejoy, playing 24:01 last night, second on the team to Hampus Lindholm.

Anaheim Ducks Defense Pairings:

Cam FowlerClayton Stoner
Lindholm – Francois Beauchemin
Manson – Vatanen

For the Dallas Stars, they are also coming off a loss to the St. Louis Blues, a 4-3 defeat in overtime at home on Tuesday. Tyler Seguin has had an incredible start to this regular season, tied with Sidney Crosby and Jakub Voracek in the NHL scoring race with 15 points. Seguin is also paired with Jamie Benn, who had four goals and five points in the six game playoff series against Anaheim and has five goals and 11 points this season, with those five goals coming in five consecutive games. The duo of Benn and Seguin is seen by many in the league as the NHL’s next version of the Getzlaf and Perry duo. Like the Ducks, who traded for an upgrade at center this offseason, the Stars acquired Jason Spezza from the Ottawa Senators, and he has 12 points on the season. Valeri Nichushkin, the team’s first round pick in 2013, is in the AHL for a rehab stint from a hip pointer.

Dallas Stars Forward Lines:

Benn – Spezza – Seguin
Patrick EavesVernon FiddlerAles Hemsky
Antoine RousselCody EakinRyan Garbutt
Erik ColeShawn HorcoffColton Sceviour

While the Stars are no slouches in the offensive and speed departments, their defense has had its problems this season, ranking 27th in goals allowed. Trevor Daley leads the Stars with 25:25 of ice time played and eight points from the blue-line, including four goals which have all come on the Stars’ tremendous power-play. Brenden Dillon leads the Stars in ice time at 5-on-5, with 19:38 per game. The Stars are playing without Patrick Nemeth, who is out for the entire season after suffering an arm laceration against the Philadelphia Flyers on October 18th.

Dallas Stars Defense Pairings:

Alex Goligoski – Daley
Jordie Benn – Dillon
Kevin ConnautonJamie Oleksiak

In net, Frederik Andersen (6-1-0, 1.69 GAA, .940 SV%) returns to Dallas for the first time since allowing four goals on 12 shots in Game 6. Andersen’s last start was against San Jose on Sunday, where he allowed four goals on 37 shots in taking his first loss of the season. Opposing Andersen will be Kari Lehtonen (4-0-3, 2.90 GAA, .907 SV%), who took the overtime loss against St. Louis after allowing four goals on 27 shots. This is the same starting goaltending match-up from all six games in the playoff series.

Jason Byun is one of the editors for Pucks of a Feather. He can be found on Twitter. For more Anaheim Ducks coverage, follow Pucks of a Feather on Twitter or like us on Facebook.