(SportsNetwork.com) - Though Wednesday night will mark the Anaheim Ducks' regular-season home finale, the club and its fans know they will be back at the Honda Center next week to begin a playoff run.
The Pacific Division champions continue to prepare for the postseason as they take on the recently-eliminated Dallas Stars.
The Ducks have already wrapped up the division and their 107 points lead the Western Conference by two points over the Central Division-leading St. Louis Blues. The Blues also have two games left to play and are idle tonight.
Anaheim has been out of action since having a four-game win streak snapped with Friday's 4-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Jiri Sekac had a goal and an assist, Rickard Rakell scored and John Gibson allowed three goals on 22 shots faced.
"I thought we had chances but we didn't battle hard enough," Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said. "When you don't battle, you don't win games."
Ducks forward Stefan Noesen made his NHL debut in the loss, while forwards Patrick Maroon (illness), Matt Beleskey (lower body) and Tim Jackman (lower body) were out of the lineup.
Anaheim is 26-11-3 at home this season and will end its regular season on Saturday in Arizona.
Frederik Andersen may draw the start in net tonight and is 2-0-0 with a 0.59 goals against average and .978 save percentage in two games (1 start) versus the Stars, stopping 45-of-46 shots faced.
The Stars hit the ice tonight just two days after being eliminated from the playoff race after the Winnipeg Jets topped the Minnesota Wild on Monday. Dallas also was in action that night and defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-1.
Jamie Benn keyed the offense with a pair of goals and an assist. The forward has 32 tallies on the season and is tied for fourth in the NHL with 80 points.
Colton Sceviour scored 28 seconds into the game, while Patrick Eaves and Ryan Garbutt also lit the lamp. Tyler Seguin had two assists and Jhonas Enroth made 23 saves.
"The one thing I like is that this team has no quit," Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff said. "We came out really sharp and got the goal right off the bat tonight."
Dallas won its second straight and will cap a three-game road trip tonight. The Stars end the season on Saturday at home versus Nashville.
Kari Lehtonen figures to start in net tonight and is 9-7-4 in 20 games versus the Ducks with a 2.39 GAA and .918 save percentage.
Anaheim is shooting for a sweep of its three-game season series with Dallas and has won six of the past nine encounters overall.