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At the Rink: Wild at Stars

by Steve Hunt

DALLAS-- Defenseman Mike Reilly will make his NHL debut for the Minnesota Wild against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, FS-SW).

Reilly, the 2015 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year at Minnesota, was recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League on Friday, had 13 assists and 18 points in 32 AHL games this season.

"Now that I'm here, it's kind of surreal," Reilly, a fourth-round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, said. "You've just got to enjoy this process but it's a big game tonight for the team, so we want to come out with two points. Very exciting though."

Reilly will skate alongside Jonas Brodin in the Wild's third defensive pair.

"It's an exciting opportunity, playing in your first game," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said after the morning skate. "Obviously, there's a lot of emotions, lot of nerves, but he's up here because he has the ability to make plays and he can be a pretty dynamic player as well," Yeo said. "I want him to come in and try to play a confident game and show us what he can do."

Yeo made two changes to his forward lines following a 4-3 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. Minnesota's third line now consists of Thomas Vanek, Charlie Coyle and Justin Fontaine, who was a healthy scratch against the Flyers.

The fourth line consists of Ryan Carter, Jarret Stoll and Erik Haula with Chris Porter likely being a healthy scratch.

Goalie Devan Dubnyk was first off the ice and will start an eighth consecutive game for Minnesota (21-11-8).

Dallas (29-10-4), who defeated the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 in a shootout on Thursday, ends a two-game homestand and will have a five-day break before its next game next Friday at the Anaheim Ducks.

Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he isn't worried about his players looking past this game against a Central Division rival.

"Well, I think they're well aware of it [that the break doesn't start until after the game]," Ruff said. "We've talked about even before the Winnipeg game what the plan was for these three days and [told the players to] be ready to play these two games before we get a few days off here."

Ruff is keeping his forward lines identical from the game Thursday but is making one change to his defensive pairs, inserting Jamie Oleksiak into his third pair alongside Jyrki Jokipakka after Patrik Nemeth, likely a healthy scratch against the Wild, skated there on Thursday.

Goalie Antti Niemi was first off the ice at morning skate and will start.

Here are the projected lineups:

WILD

Zach PariseMikko KoivuJason Zucker

Nino NiederreiterMikael GranlundJason Pominville

Thomas VanekCharlie CoyleJustin Fontaine

Ryan CarterJarret StollErik Haula

Ryan SuterJared Spurgeon

Marco ScandellaMatt Dumba

Jonas BrodinMike Reilly

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Injured: Nate Prosser (hand).

Scratched: Niklas Backstrom, Chris Porter

STARS

Jamie BennJason SpezzaValeri Nichushkin

Mattias JanmarkTyler SeguinPatrick Sharp

Antoine RousselCody EakinColton Sceviour

Radek Faksa - Vernon Fiddler - Patrick Eaves

Alex GoligoskiJohn Klingberg

Johnny OduyaJason Demers

Jyrki JokipakkaJamie Oleksiak

Antti Niemi

Kari Lehtonen

Scratched: Travis Moen, Patrik Nemeth.

Injured: Jordie Benn (lower body), Ales Hemsky (lower body).

Status report: Yeo said Kuemper, who has missed the past six games with a concussion will back up Dubnyk and could start on Sunday against the New Jersey Devils. … Ruff said Jordie Benn, who likely will miss his second consecutive game and Hemsky, who likely will miss a sixth consecutive game, are each on track to return after a five-day break following the game. Each has been sidelined with a lower-body injury.

Who's hot: Koivu has 12 points (six goals) in his past 13 games. … Sharp has a career-long 11-game point streak, the longest active streak in the NHL and the second longest in the League this season. … Dallas is 9-1-0 at home and has won five straight on home ice.

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