They’re trailing two-zip. So what?
Dallas Stars centre Tyler Seguin has been in this spot before.
Yeah, actually, you might remember the story.
Then a member of the Boston Bruins, Seguin and his buddies returned to Beantown in a 2-0 hole after dropping the first two games of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals to the Vancouver Canucks.
Long story short, they evened things up with a pair of wins on home ice, then eventually carried Lord Stanley’s mug out of Rogers Arena in Vancouver after a seven-game thriller.
Perhaps even more relevant to the Stars’ current scenario after back-to-back losses to the Anaheim Ducks in the latest instalment of the NHL’s spring fling, is that the Bruins also suffered two straight setbacks to open their first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens in the spring of 2011.
“I’ve been here many times before,” Seguin said. “The first round is the hardest to get out of. We’re definitely going to put up a fight.”
Down but certainly not defeated, there was an air of optimism on Easter Sunday as the Stars reported to their practice rink in Frisco, Texas, to prepare for Game 3 on Monday night at American Airlines Center.
“What would you be expecting?” Seguin said. “It’s a long playoffs, a long series. You’re going to have ups and downs throughout. We’re excited to be back at home right now. It would have been nice to steal one on the road — that’s usually the goal — but we’ve gotta regroup.”
This is the time of year when you’ll hear over and over again that a playoff series doesn’t really start until a team loses in their own barn.
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Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau actually brought that up Sunday afternoon, and the Stars are certainly aware of the old saying.
“I’ve told the team, we haven’t done anything the easy way all year long,” said Stars head coach Lindy Ruff.
It doesn’t hurt that the Stars are also feeling pretty darn good about their performance in Game 2 on Friday night at the Honda Center, where they peppered Ducks puck-stopper Frederik Andersen with 36 shots but didn’t have enough to show for it in a 3-2 loss.
“We’re confident,” said Stars centre Shawn Horcoff. “I think, in the first game we showed some nerves and a little of inexperience throughout the lineup. But in the second game, we played a good game. We outshot them by quite a bit. I thought we controlled the play a lot. Really, everything they got we gave to them, so we have to feel in a good mood.
“It’s home-ice advantage for a reason. They held serve at home, and now we have to do the same.”
It’s important to note, the Stars probably wouldn’t have ended their five-year playoff drought if they weren’t so successful on home ice in the late stages of this season.
In fact, they posted a 9-2-1 record at American Airlines Center after the Olympic break. They also defeated the Ducks at home in late November, Anaheim’s only regular-season visit to the Big D.
Monday’s clash will mark the first NHL playoff outing at American Airlines Center since way back on May 19, 2008, so fans have been waiting a while for this.
“We’ve shown that we can play with them. Now, we get a chance to get home and I think guys are excited to play them in this building,” said defenceman Trevor Daley, the only member of the Stars’ current roster who has ever played a home playoff game in Dallas.
“This is a good sports city. When you get into situations like this, the city gets behind you. The fans are going to be great. If you just look at that last game we played at home, to clinch a playoff spot, that crowd was electric. So we’re excited.”
DUCKS’ GETZLAF UP FOR CHALLENGE
DALLAS — The Anaheim Ducks can’t dictate the matchups at American Airlines Center.
For what it’s worth, though, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf and his partner-in-production, Corey Perry, hope they’ll continue to see a steady diet of the Dallas Stars’ top line.
It seemed like every time the Stars’ dynamic duo of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin stepped foot on the ice at Honda Center, Anaheim’s top-notch tandem of Getzlaf and Perry were immediately hopping over the boards.
“We like it. I’ve always loved that head-to-head matchup with anybody,” Getzlaf said. “It draws out the best in you. It forces you to play both ends of the rink and play the game well. That’s always a good challenge for us and, so far, we’ve been up to it.”
Getzlaf has scored twice and collected two assists in this series and is a big reason the Ducks won back-to-back games at Honda Center, while Perry has a goal and one helper.
Benn also has one of each, while Seguin has tickled the twine once but has no assists.
On Twitter: @SUNGilbertson