The Dallas Stars are ready to go. After battling down the stretch to secure the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Stars are now ready to open their first round series against the top-seeded Ducks tonight at Honda Center in Anaheim.

“They feel loose, good spirit. I don’t get any feeling that they are uptight,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We’ve had a couple good meetings and everybody seems in the right frame of mind and looking forward to getting this series started.”

The Stars know they’ll have their hands full with the Ducks, who finished as the top team in the West and with the second best record in the league. At the same time, the Stars have had some success against the Ducks over the years, including two wins in three games this season.

“We’re an excited group. We’re playing against a good team. We know they are good, we just have to go out and play our game,” said Stars defenseman Trevor Daley.

Stars lineup notes: Dillon out

Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon will miss tonight’s playoff opener against the Anaheim Ducks with a lower body injury. Dillon, who suffered the injury in Friday’s game against St. Louis and sat out Sunday’s regular season finale in Phoenix, did not skate Wednesday in Anaheim.

“He's just not able to skate,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “He's not comfortable enough to skate.”

Dillon is listed as day to day.

With Dillon not playing, veteran Aaron Rome is expected to slot in on the Dallas blue line. Rome has 18 games of NHL playoff experience, 14 of them coming when Vancouver made it to the Stanley Cup Final against Boston in 2011.

Ray Whitney will return tonight after missing the final five regular season games with a lower body injury. He is expected to skate on a line with Shawn Horcoff and Alex Chiasson.

Kari Lehtonen, of course, will get the nod in net for the Stars. It will be his first NHL playoff start since 2007, when he was with Atlanta.

Kevin Connauton, Dustin Jeffrey and Chris Mueller will be the healthy scratches tonight for Dallas.