The Ducks led the West with 116 points -- 25 more than Dallas -- and their supremacy showed in the early portion of Wednesday's Game 1 victory. However, after jumping out to a four-goal lead, Anaheim was forced to hang on for a 4-3 decision in the opener.
Anaheim held a 4-0 lead just over nine minutes into the second period, but Minnesota cut the deficit to two goals by the end of 40 minutes and made it a 4-3 game when Tyler Seguin scored with a little over six minutes remaining in the third period.
However, rookie goaltender Frederik Andersen, who got the start in net for Anaheim over Jonas Hiller, turned away all comers over the final six minutes to help the Ducks grab the early edge.
Andersen finished with 32 saves in his postseason debut for the Ducks, who used a 54-20-8 regular-season record -- the best in franchise history -- to secure the conference's top spot.
"We let up a little bit in the third after our fourth goal, so this is a good lesson for us," said Andersen, who became the first rookie goaltender in club history to win his playoff debut. "Hopefully we can prevent that from happening again."
Anaheim plans on sticking with Andersen in Game 2. Hiller led Anaheim with 50 appearances in net this season, but the veteran did not play in seven of Anaheim's final eight regular-season games.
Ryan Getzlaf and Matt Beleskey each supplied a goal and an assist for the Ducks, with Kyle Palmieri and Mathieu Perreault supplying a goal apiece.
Getzlaf didn't leave the victory unscathed, however, as he was hit flush in the face by a puck shot off the stick of Seguin in the closing seconds of the game. The club revealed on Thursday that Getzlaf suffered a deep facial laceration and required multiple stitches to close the cut, but that x-rays were negative and he is good to go for Game 2.
"He has no one to impress. He has a wife and kids. I think he looks good. This is playoff hockey," quipped Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy.
Getzlaf, a Stanley Cup winner in 2007 with the franchise, has 22 goals and 39 assists in 70 postseason appearances.
Beleskey also suffered a lower-body injury in Game 1 and is questionable for Friday.
Anaheim's Teemu Selanne notched an assist for his 83rd career postseason point (42 goals, 41 assists) in 119 games. The 43-year-old future Hall of Famer plans on retiring at the end of the season.
Jamie Benn and Colton Sceviour scored 1:33 apart late in the second to kick off Dallas' valiant comeback effort. Sceviour added an assist on Benn's goal while Kari Lehtonen allowed four goals on 35 shots for the Stars, who claimed the West's second wild card spot to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
"We had a tough start," Benn admitted. "They came out hot in their building. They are really good in this rink. I thought we battled back pretty good there but it just wasn't enough."
Benn and Sceviour were both making their playoff debuts, while the 22-year-old Seguin, a former Boston Bruin, now has 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) over 43 postseason contests.
This series marks the third all-time playoff meeting between these clubs and first since the Stars bested the Ducks in six games during the 2008 Western Conference quarterfinals.
After Game 2, the series will shift to Dallas for the next two meetings. The Stars will host Game 3 on Monday with Game 4 scheduled for Wednesday.