Game Preview: Dallas Stars @ Minnesota Wild (7:00pm CST)
Another shot at the Central Division and separation awaits the Stars, but it's the second night of a back-to-back after a long night in Dallas.
The Dallas Stars escaped with their hockey-lives and two points after an uneven and penalty filled affair at the American Airlines Center last night against the Vancouver Canucks.
Tyler Seguin and Antti Niemi, and their friend Antti Niemi saved the day as the Stars squeezed a 3-2 win despite not scoring an even-strength goal for the first time all season.
They went quickly to Love Field and took off in the middle of the storm most of us have been enduring for days en-route to Minnesota for a quick 20-hour turnaround against the Wild.
The Stars were swept by the Wild in Minnesota last season, getting out-scored 12-4 in 4-1, 2-1 and 6-2 road losses- A small part of the larger season-long issue against the Central that they hope to avoid this time around.
Minnesota has dropped five of six, including the overtime loss to your Dallas Stars two weeks ago at the nimble hands of John Klingberg.
Since they've battled the Preds successfully but lost to the Pens, Bruins, Canucks and Jets- The lattest coming yesterday with a season-low 15 shots on goal at home hosting Winnipeg.
Minnesota figured to get a boost in Zach Parise's return after a nearly four-week absence to a sprained MCL ligament in his knee, but fell flat anyway as the Jets smothered them defensively and the Jets left with a badly needed 3-1 win.
Devan Dubnyk stopped 26 of 29 pucks on the afternoon and like Antti Niemi, may need to start on the back-to-back in the ultra-competitive Central Division matchup.
They're hoping to get forward Justin Fontaine back for this one, Marco Scandella is out with a lower-body injury, and of course Parise is back to diversify their attack.
"It gets us a little closer to having the other team pick their poison and who they want to match up against," Wild head coach Mike Yeo told media Thursday. "We think that when we're healthy, we have a pretty deep group up front with a number of guys who are capable of contributing offensively."
Lineup from Saturday-
How that lineup only put 15 pucks on a Winnipeg net is a mystery- We'll see how the Stars fare tonight at 7:00pm CST.
Notes from the Stars on last night's victory-
- Tyler Seguin extended his point streak (3-6=9) to seven games with an assist (0-1=1) in tonight's win against Vancouver.
- Stars captain Jamie Benn scored his 17th goal of the season in the first period and now has 33 points this season. (17-16=33). Benn now has points in seven straight games (7-5=12).
- Jason Spezza posted a power play goal tonight (1-0=1) and now has 17 points this season (9-8=17). He now has recorded points in five of his last six games (4-1=5).
- Defenseman John Klingberg extended his point streak (0-5=5) to four games with an assist (0-1=1) in tonight's matchup. Klingberg has notched points in six of his last seven games (2-8=10) and now stands with a season total of 25 points (4-21=25).
- Patrick Sharp tallied two assists (0-2=2) in tonight's contest, extending his point streak(1-4=5) to three games. The forward now stands with 20 points (8-12=20).