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Gameday Preview: Anaheim Ducks @ Dallas Stars (7:30pm CDT)

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Anaheim Ducks @ Dallas Stars

Thursday, Apr 8, 2010, 7:30 PM CDT
American Airlines Center

Local TV: FS SW

Radio: 1310 The Ticket (listen online @ stars.nhl.com)

Opponents: Anaheim Calling

Let's make the 81st game preview a short one, shall we?

This might be the most interesting 81st game of the season between two eliminated teams I've ever heard of. The Stars and their fans will pay tribute to three long standing pillars of this organization in Jere Lehtinen, Marty Turco, and Mike Modano. If reports are accurate, the Stars will have video tributes to each, and they will be the last three players to award their jerseys to fans in what has become a customary end of season ceremony.

That being said, there's actual hockey business to conduct tonight as well.

The Stars will have Philip Larsen (D) make his NHL debut tonight, playing in Matt Niskanen's stead. Aaron Gagnon, right handed center from the Texas Stars, will play tonight and Brandon Segal will sit along with Fabian Brunnstrom.

Brenden Morrow will return to the lineup, and Marty Turco, of course, will start in net.

The Ducks meanwhile will leave half of their team at home in favor of trying out some young guys. Niedermayer, Koivu, Selanne, Marchant, Getzlaf and Visnovsky (injury) will stay at home for this trip to Dallas. Meaning that the Ducks will have whole lot of young guys in the lineup trying to make a statement and play their rears off.

Plus, if they happen to have Jonas Hiller in net, as we saw with the Swiss Olympic team, that's all the need to make the game interesting.

Winning the game isn't important, but it would make the rest of the emotionally tumultuous night a little more palatable, no?

People keep asking why we're not making as big of a deal out of Jere Lehtinen this week? He seems the most likely to return of the three (which is not to say that he's a better hockey player than Modano is), and Mike Heika goes over the reasons why here on the DMN Blog.

Dallas leads the season series with a record of 3-1-1.