Preview: No Time to Dwell as Dallas Stars Face Back-to-Back in Minnesota
The Stars have national television on NBCSN to deal with as they try to compose themselves after the season's most gutting loss.
Well, there's another hockey game to be played this evening.
Too soon for some, perhaps, after a gutting 7-6 loss at American Airlines Center last night- Or maybe it's like baseball, and it's good to get back out there immediately and get another crack at it?
How they respond tonight is pretty intriguing.
Unlike the Stars, the Minnesota Wild are rolling at home and have used it to climb back in to the playoff race from the pits of despair where Dallas has been unable.
They've won five straight at Xcel Energy Center and six of their last seven, defeating Carolina, Florida, Vancouver, Colorado, Chicago and Arizona by a combined score of 20-8, including consecutive home shutouts of Colorado and Chicago.
They've been very, very stingy. They've not allowed 30 shots on goal since January 2nd- So it will be interesting to see how the Seguin-less one-line threat Stars do when they don't have last change against a defensive minded opposition.
The National Hockey League enjoys having the Stars swing by Minnesota on a back-to-back, often after a home game, which is no short flight.
This season they went up there on November 1st after playing Halloween night and lost 4-1. Dallas played there on October 12th last season after facing Winnipeg the night before and got dropped 5-1. In the opening weekend of the lockout shortened season they went from the AAC to Minnesota and were shutout 1-0. Saturday, January 21st 2012 (after playing the Lightning at home the night before) saw the Wild thump them 5-2.
So this doesn't usually go very well.
Their last win in Minnesota was three years ago on March 13, 2012. Kari Lehtonen was in net for that one, but the bet is he won't be tonight- For this is the very reason why Anders Lindback is now with the Buffalo sabres.
The diminuitive Jhonas Enroth wasn't give much of a chance by his new mates in his Stars debut against the Colorado Avalanche on the 14th, and was solid in relief of Kari on Thursday, making all nine saves with which he was tasked against the Sharks over the course of the game's final half.
Now he'll find himself in a must-win division battle, and recent trends say the majority of the pucks will be going his way rather than Devan Dubnyk or Darcy Kuemper's.
Their lineup, as you well know by now:
From Stars PR:
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
Dallas travels to Minnesota on Sunday to square off against the Wild in the fifth and final contest scheduled between the two Central Division rivals this season. The Stars posted a 7-1 win over Minnesota on Jan. 3 at American Airlines Center in the last meeting between the two teams. Dallas is 1-2-1 against Minnesota this season, with an 0-1-0 mark on the road. Forward Vernon Fiddler currently paces the club with three goals and is tied for the team-lead with four points (3-1=4) against the Wild this season. Fiddler comes into Sunday's contest having registered six points (4-2=6) in his last seven games against Minnesota, including posting two goals the last game against them on Jan. 3 at American Airlines Center.