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Dallas Welcomes a Division Rival to Town Tonight

If the Dallas Stars hang on and make the playoffs, you may be looking back at Tuesday night’s game as one of the big reasons why. The Tampa Bay Lightning have owned the Stars ever since they played each other in the Stanley Cup Final two seasons ago. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been near perfect against Dallas and he almost was on Tuesday as well.

Except for the lone Roope Hintz goal and the play from Scott Wedgewood on the other side, Tampa may have walked away with another win. But, alas, they did not. And that brings me to the point I was trying to make in the beginning. We can look back at this game only after the regular season is over. Until then there is still much work that needs to be done.

That work starts tonight. Another playoff bound team is waiting for the Stars. Tonight, though, its the Minnesota Wild. After playing four out of the last five against Eastern Conference teams, the Stars play their final nine games against the Western Conference.

Another bright spot for the Stars is that only three of their final games are against teams that are currently in the playoffs. Now, that’s a little misleading because they do have a big game coming up against the Vegas Golden Knights. That could have lots of playoff implications. Or perhaps, the playoffs will be locked up by then for the Stars. We have to wait a couple of weeks to find out.

Potential Lines for Dallas

Jason Robertson (21) – Roope Hintz (24) – Joe Pavelski (16)
Jamie Benn (14) – Tyler Seguin (91) – Denis Gurianov (34)
Michael Raffl (18) – Radek Faksa (12) – Luke Glendening (11)
Alexander Radulov (47) – Jacob Peterson (40) – Marian Studenic (43)

Ryan Suter (20) – Miro Heiskanen (4)
Esa Lindell (23) – John Klingberg (3)
Thomas Harley (55) – Jani Hakanpaa (2)

Scott Wedgewood (41)
Jake Oettinger (29)

The Minnesota Wild

On March 6th the Wild lost to the Stars 6-3. That finished a stretch in which the Wild lost eight out of 10 games. It looked like they were in danger of being caught by the Stars for third place in the division.

Since then, the Wild have been a completely different team. They have won 13 of their last 18 games including a stretch in which they won seven in a row. Now they sit in the second position in the division with 96 points. You know they’re coming in tonight with a chip on their shoulder. Especially with how bad Dallas beat them last time.

Potential Wild Lines

Kirill Kaprizov (97) – Ryan Hartman (38) – Mats Zuccarello (36)
Matthew Boldy (12) – Frederick Gaudreau (89) – Kevin Fiala (22)
Brandon Duhaime (21) – Joel Ek Eriksson (14) – Marcus Foligno (17)
Nicolas Deslauriers (44) – Tyson Jost (10) – Nick Bjugstad (27)

Jacob Middleton (5) – Jared Spurgeon (46)  
Jonas Brodie (25) – Dmitry Kulikov (7)  
Jordie Benn (8) – Alex Goligoski (47)

Marc-Andre Fleury (29)
Cam Talbot (33)