Dallas Stars vs Minnesota Preview: Lineups, Storylines, Game Time, and How to Watch
NBCSN will subject the nation to this one and their stable of so-called talent at 7:00pm CST but I wouldn't tune in until about 7:09pm CST.
The Dallas Stars saw what makes a team the cream of the crop in the Central Division Saturday night in a humbling contest against the Chicago Blackhawks.
And they are looking for answers- Answers to tough questions after earning every bit of the shellacking Patrick Kane's bunch game them.
But the Minnesota Wild are looking for more answers. Many more.
The Wild have earned nine of their 55 points by losing in overtime or the shootout this year. They've dropped five games in a row now. They've dropped 10 of their last 11.
That hurts. And as much as the Stars have not looked like themselves of November and December, the Wild have slid that much further, now on the outside looking in and trying to catch the Predators and Avalanche for a wild card spot. (Get it, "Wild" card spot?)
Minnesota played St. Louis real tough on Saturday and have owned Dallas for most of the periods these two have seen thus far this year. The Wild are due, and the Stars have the unenviable task of trying to avoid being the bug on the windshield.
The good news for Dallas is that Jared Spurgeon may miss the game with a "deep bruise" according to reports and there's a strong possibility he may miss tonight contest. Combine that with Jonas Brodin's absence due to a broken foot and the Wild arguably have two of their top-four defensemen out of the lineup this evening.
On the other hand, Ryan Suter will play 30 minutes, and possibly more- Enough to cover every second of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin and then some. He played 29 when the two met in Dallas exactly a month ago. Away from him against a weakened group, the Stars must find offense from unusual places with Jason Spezza on the shelf.
The Wild held Dallas scoreless through 57 frustrating minutes in January as the Stars out-attempted them by a mile, but that's not the only way they choose to go about their business. Saturday night in St. Louis Minnesota out-shot the Blues 39-24 (See the Stars' exploits in St. Louis this season for comparison) though somehow found a way to lose thanks to a hot netminder.
Hot netminding is not exactly what's been seen between Dallas' pipes as Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi combined for a five-goal torching at the hands of the superior Blackhawks Saturday at the AAC.
Niemi appeared to be overtaking Lehtonen before Saturday night's debacle, so we'll see who gets the start as it's possible Kari could get a chance.
Up front it looks like they'll start with something like this-
Stars lines. Benn-Seguin-Eaves, Janmark-Eakin-Sharp, Nichushkin-Faksa-Hemsky, Roussel-Fiddler-Sceviour.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) February 8, 2016
A good way to win tonight? Find a way to get to four. Minnesota hasn't scored four goals since January 5th- The only time in their last 22 games they reached the mark.
Though I am not entirely sure why. There's some talent here:
Or something like that, except Thomas Vanek will likely be back in the lineup there somewhere after getting benched in St. Louis. He scored against the Stars in their last meeting.
Guessing at their defensive pairs with the injuries is not a fruitful exercise. Mike Reilly has been called up and will likely get in the action- He played in Dallas 5 weeeks ago as well.
One area of their game devoid of mystery is Devan Dubnyk, who will surely be in net. He was the biggest part of their win last time and the Stars hope they can make him as busy this evening.
nFrom Stars PR:
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
The Dallas Stars take on the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night in the fifth and final meeting this season against their Central Division foe. The Stars have won three of the four matchups this season (3-1-0), and have won two straight games on the road (2-0-0). Dallas has won three games in a season against the Wild for the first time since the 2011-12 season, when the club went 3-1-0 vs. the Wild. In their most recent meeting on Dec. 21 at Xcel Energy Center, the Stars rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat Minnesota, 6-3, behind multi-point outings from Tyler Seguin (1-1=2) and Vernon Fiddler (2-0=2). Stars captain Jamie Benn leads all Stars players with seven points (3-4=7) in four games this season against the Wild, with John Klingberg (2-3=5) and Seguin (2-3=5) each recording five points.
TYLER THE CREATOR
Stars forward Tyler Seguin netted Dallas' lone goal (1-0=1) against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night at American Airlines Center. Seguin currently ranks fourth in the NHL with 56 points (28-28=56) and shares third in the League with 28 goals. He has 29 points (18-11=29) this season in 27 road contests, ranking first in goals (18) and fourth in points (29). The native of Brampton, Ont. enters Tuesday's contest with points in five of his last six games (4-5=9) against the Wild and has tallied six points (2-4=6) over his last five games played at Xcel Energy Center. The forward has appeared in 14 games against Minnesota in his NHL career and has recorded 15 points (5-10=15).