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Ducks must deal with boisterous Stars fans

Anaheim's Stephane Robidas, who played with Dallas, says the crowd at American Airlines Center will be pumped for Game 3 of playoff series the Ducks lead, 2-0.

April 20, 2014|By Lance Pugmire
  • Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas (19) clears the puck after battling the Stars' Alex Chiasson and Cody Eakin (20) in the third period of Game 2 on Friday night at Honda Center.
Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas (19) clears the puck after battling… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )

DALLAS -- The Ducks established their franchise record for road victories this season (25), winning at hostile dens like San Jose, Staples Center, St. Louis (twice) and Chicago.

Monday night at Dallas is a different animal.

The Stars, trailing Anaheim, 2-0, in a Western Conference first-round series, haven't played a home playoff game since May 19, 2008, when they were eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference finals.

"Desperate team, their fans are going to be pumped," former Stars and current Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas said Sunday after his team practiced at American Airlines Center. "It's going to be crowded, everyone's going to be wearing their victory green. They're going to come out real strong.

"I've been with that team for most of the year … I know, there's a lot of pride."

Dallas beat the visiting Ducks, 6-3, on Nov. 26, riding the home crowd's excitement to three goals in less than a 60-second span of the third period.

Otherwise, the Ducks' comfort with the road's us-against-the world mindset was built by playing 18 of their first 29 games away, including an eight-game trip Oct. 22-Nov. 4 in which they went 5-2-1.

"The thing we did was always try to play with a lead," defenseman Francois Beauchemin said. "If we get our game going, we're solid defensively. We're a confident group."

Beauchemin said his teammates want that dagger-type victory that would put them up 3-0 in the series.

"It's huge, first two games have been close, and we know we can't ever let our foot off the gas and stop being aggressive," Beauchemin said.

Coach Bruce Boudreau said the secret to road success has been not deviating from how the team plays at Honda Center.

"No valleys, not a lot of peaks," Boudreau said.

Emerson Etem is called up

Forward Emerson Etem, who scored three first-round playoff goals last year, was summoned from minor league Norfolk as forward Matt Beleskey (lower-body injury) didn't skate Sunday.

Boudreau wouldn't commit to Etem, 21, playing after he and Devante Smith-Pelly skated with constants Mathieu Perreault and Teemu Selanne on Sunday. Patrick Maroon skated with the first line alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

Also, the Ducks moved rookie goalie John Gibson (3-0) and defenseman Sami Vatanen to Norfolk to play there while moving up previously injured defenseman Mark Fistric (lower-body nerve injury). Fistric said he does not expect to play Monday, but feels much better.

It's getting physical

When the Ducks led Dallas, 4-0, in Game 1, the Stars' hitting and angling for fights increased. In Game 2, the disliked Dallas forward Ryan Garbutt struck Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri with a high stick to the upper body.

Palmieri said the Ducks aren't going to get goaded into action that will distract from their game plan.

"Those guys try to get under your skin, there's going to be some battles," Palmieri said. "You do your best to ignore it. You protect yourself, but drawing them into penalties takes them out of their game. We've been pretty good at it so far."

Sending a message

Getzlaf played more than 19 minutes with a goal and an assist Friday a game after getting smashed in the face with a puck and requiring numerous stitches. Hours before Game 2, he was up all night for the birth of his third child just after midnight Friday.

But it was Getzlaf's early first-period hit on a Dallas player that caught the attention of Boudreau.

"He looked like crap, was obviously tired, doesn't like the [face] shield, and the first shift he runs somebody, to show everyone, 'I am fine, don't think you're going to take advantage of me.' Tell-tale sign of a superstar."

Twitter: @latimespugmire

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