Lindy Ruff figures anyone who has watched the Dallas Stars in their first two playoff games should know they won’t quit.
Even in a big hole against top-seeded Anaheim before their first home playoff game in six years.
“It doesn’t feel like an 0-2 series. We definitely haven’t been dominated,” said Ruff, the veteran coach in his first season on the Dallas bench. “In fact, the last game we dominated, we just didn’t win. So we’ve got to clean up some of our mistakes and take advantage of some of those key opportunities.”
After a pair of one-goal losses in Anaheim, the Stars are home for Game 3 Monday night for their first postseason game at the American Airlines Center since May 19, 2008 — a span of 2,162 days. That was a 4-1 loss to Detroit in the clinching Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, two weeks after the Stars wrapped up their previous series with a Game 6 win at home, 2-1 in four overtimes against San Jose.
The Stars outshot Anaheim 36-19 in the 3-2 loss in Game 2, when Dallas had a 15-2 edge in a third-period flurry. But Ducks rookie goalie Frederik Andersen finished with 34 saves in his second postseason start.
“It’s going to be tough games in Dallas. … We’re going to have to be ready for a great atmosphere for them with their fans,” Ducks center Andrew Cogliano said. “That’s by far the most offensive we’ve seen them play right in the series. The games right now are so intense, but the guys are ready.”
Ten Dallas players have made their postseason debuts in this series, which started with Anaheim jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the opener before holding on for a 4-3 victory.
“The second half of the first game was more of the way we wanted to play and then I thought we played pretty good in the second game,“’ Stars captain Jamie Benn said. “We just made a couple too many mistakes and they capitalized on it.”
Five things to watch in Game 3
“They’ve had the best shooting percentage in the league and I see why. They don’t need a lot of chances,” Ruff said of Getzlaf and Perry. “We gave each of them one good opportunity. I don’t know if they had another one. And they both scored.”
Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen, in his 10th NHL season, is still looking for his first playoff victory. He is 0-4, including 0-2 with Atlanta in 2007, with a 4.58 goals against average and .858 save percentage.
“I think he’s been victimized a little bit by some of our poor turnovers. I think we’ve hung him out to dry,” Ruff said. “You either get a big save or it goes in the back of the net.”
“I think it shows in our record. We feel comfortable playing in there,” Benn said. “We’ve got to find way to win this next game there.”
Anaheim had 25 road wins during the regular season, tied with the New York Rangers for the second-most in the league, one behind Colorado.