Down 2-3 to the Anahiem Ducks the Dallas Stars are Where They Need to Be

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The Stars dominated play in the second period and despite giving up a very early power play goal on a horrible goalie interference call against Alex Goligoski they ended the period only one goal down. Shawn Horcoff beat Federeick Andersen hammering home a rebound at 8:19. With the game finally settling down the Stars used the first extended stretch of 5 on 5 play to force the Ducks to scramble and just hang on. The period ended with the Ducks on top by 1 but the Stars carrying all of the momentum.

That’s when the youth popped up again.

Brenden Dillion, who was making his playoff debut, made a pass from the far boards that he would like to have back.

Mar 6, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon (4) Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The puck sauntered around the corner and behind the net, where Andrew Cogliano jumped on the mistake. He centered the puck to a crashing Jakob Silfverberg who buried it past Lehtonen. The flood gates opened from there and the Ducks cruised to a 6-2 win adding two more goals from their top pair Getzlaf and Perry.

Ugh. What next?

Momentum lost, confidence shaken and needing to win two in a row to advance the Stars might be right where they want to be.

Despite the final score, the Stars had multiple opportunities to win game 5.

The most important stat of the game was powerplay success. The Stars went 0-7 while the Ducks were 4-6. No doubt there were multiple questionable calls that went against the Stars that led to Ducks goals. But the Stars penalty kill has been fantastic all series. The Ducks had not scored on the power play since game 1.

When 5 on 5 the Stars played exactly the game they needed to. They were fast, pesky and aggressive. The reasons they lost game 5 in Anaheim were the same reasons they lost games 1 and 2. Experience and special teams.

You can’t win a game when you go 0-7 on the power play. You cannot win a game when you allow your opponent to go 4-6 on their power play.

Perry made a fantastic, calculated veteran move when he took a line right at Garbutt, then flopped.

The Ducks capitalized on multiple mistakes the young Stars made. The Stars tried to hold serve but in the end it was just too much.

The core of this Ducks team have already won a Stanley Cup.

Over half of the Stars are playing in their first ever Stanley Cup playoffs.

Yet somehow, I think the Stars are right where they need to be. All season long they have battled back.

They lost 9 of 10 in late January and didn’t quit.

They lost 4 in a row in mid March to fall out of the playoffs and then rallied the rest of the way to clinch, with a game to spare.

They fell behind the Ducks in this series 2-0 despite putting up better numbers, and rallied back with near flawless efforts in games 3 and 4 to tie the series at 2.

This season the Stars have played their best hockey when they have been considered down and out. They have come together time after time when their faces were flat on the mat. It seems to be the make up of this team to put themselves in the worst possible situation and then see how dramatically they can make you say wow.

Apr 25, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Rickard Rakell (67) celebrates with left wing Emerson Etem (65) after scoring a goal against the Dallas Stars during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

It’s what they have done best all season.

It’s why the hockey world seems to be rooting for them.

It’s why they might just pull this off.

They are too young to know they aren’t supposed to be win.

They are too young to know they are supposed to roll over and let the Ducks walk away with the series.

They are right where they need to be.