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Five keys for Wild vs. Stars, Game 2

Minnesota needs better discipline to tie series; Dallas could get Seguin back in lineup

by Steve Hunt / Correspondent

DALLAS -- The Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars play Game 2 of their Western Conference First Round series at American Airlines Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports 3, FS-N, FS-WI, FS-SW). The Stars lead the best-of-7 series 1-0.

Here are five keys for Game 2:

1. Say it's so for Seguin: Seguin missed the final 10 games of the regular season and Game 1 of the series recovering from March 18 surgery to repair a 15-percent tear in the Achilles tendon in his left foot.

Seguin has been skating since April 6 and said he's ready to go.

"I feel like I've watched enough hockey games," Seguin said Saturday. "I'm ready to get back into the lineup."

But Stars coach Lindy Ruff wants Seguin at 100 percent when he returns, so that could mean sitting out Game 2 as well.

Ruff said Saturday that Seguin would be a game-time decision. But at the morning skate he worked at center on a fifth line with Travis Moen and Brett Ritchie, neither of whom played in Game 1.

2. Stay out of the box: During the regular season Minnesota was the least-penalized team in the NHL, averaging 6.6 penalty minutes per game. But in Game 1 the Wild was called for six minor penalties, three in the first period.

Dallas' power play ranked No. 4 in the NHL during the regular season at 22.1 percent, and was No. 2 in the League at home (22.4 percent).

"We've got to have controlled emotion … have controlled physicality but be disciplined with it," Wild interim coach John Torchetti said Saturday. "We've got to trust our foot speed. … We've got to be on top of them inside the blue line. We can't get on top of them at the red line; it's too late by then."

Dallas went 1-for-6 on the power play in Game 1, but that one goal was costly for Minnesota, when Eaves scored off a rebound in the third period to give Dallas a 3-0 lead.

Video: MIN@DAL, Gm1: Eaves jams home rebound for PPG

3. Take better care of the puck: Torchetti said he counted 19 turnovers by Minnesota in Game 1, the most crucial of which led to the eventual game-winner by Dallas rookie forward Radek Faksa early in the second period.

Ales Hemsky took the puck away from the Wild's Jarret Stoll in the neutral zone to set up Faksa, who scored from the slot in his Stanley Cup Playoff debut.

Against the opportunistic Stars, who like to pounce on mistakes and play with pace, better puck management is imperative for the Wild's chances of evening the series.

4. Give themselves a shot: During his press conference after Game 1, Torchetti said the preferred number of shot attempts for the Wild is 70. They had 46 in Game 1, to the Stars' 62.

"The biggest thing is we have to get more pucks to the net and shoot from everywhere, and get pucks behind their [defense]," Wild forward Nino Niederreiter said. "We did a little too many turnovers around the blue line and we just have to sharpen up some of those little things."

Dallas blocked 19 shots in Game 1. But Torchetti said better and smarter puck management would allow Minnesota to combat that in Game 2.

"We've got to get pucks deep, got to get pucks deep in the neutral zone," Torchetti said. "[We also can't have] 18-plus turnovers [in Game 2]. That's everything."

Video: MIN@DAL, Gm1: Dubnyk denies Hemsky with poke check

5. Finding some balance: The Stars got solid offensive contributions all four forward lines. The second line of Valeri Nichushkin, Jason Spezza and Patrick Eaves combined for two goals and 12 shots on goal, with Spezza totaling seven shots. The third line of Antoine Roussel, Faksa and Hemsky combined for one goal, one assist and six shots on goal. The fourth line of Mattias Janmark, Vernon Fiddler and Colton Sceviour had five shots on goal. The top line of Jamie Benn, Cody Eakin and Patrick Sharp had one goal, two assists and four shots.

The Wild's shot totals in Game 1 were a bit more skewed. The second line of Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville combined for nine shots, but the top line of Jason Zucker, Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle totaled two.

Torchetti juggled all four lines in practice Friday, partly so he could get Erik Haula, who missed Game 1 because of a lower-body injury, up to speed.

"Getting [Haula] back in the lineup, it hopefully gives us more possession time and frustrates them a little bit offensively with some of their top-end players," Torchetti said.

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