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Preview: Wild at Stars

Mikko Koivu returns for Minnesota; Tyler Seguin expects to play for Dallas

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

WILD (30-11-5) AT STARS (19-20-9)

8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV

 

Wild team scope

Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu will return after missing a 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Sunday because of illness. "It's really important because he's so important in face-offs alone," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "If you're matching lines at all, we're matching his line against the best team on the other team." The Wild have not lost a road game in regulation since a 5-4 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 29. They are 10-0-2 away from home since then and 14-5-5 on the road this season. "We try to bring that same intensity and feel that we have at home," forward Charlie Coyle said. "Play half your games away from home, and it's tough coming to buildings and trying to quiet home crowds. I don't know what it is, but we've been able to do it." Goaltender Devan Dubnyk will start after Darcy Kuemper allowed three goals on 31 shots in the loss to Nashville. Defenseman Mike Reilly will play in his third straight game after being recalled from the AHL on Jan. 18.

 

Stars team scope

Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin is expected to play after missing practice on Monday because of illness. "Feeling better," Seguin said after the optional morning skate. "Yesterday was not a good day. But today I'm feeling better, so I'm happy about that." Seguin is one of three Stars to play in all 48 games this season and leads the team with 45 points. Radek Faksa is out with a lower-body injury sustained in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday. He's the Stars best penalty-killing forward and is frequently used on key faceoffs late in games. "It's a big adjustment, we've been basically using him as our lead penalty-killer," coach Lindy Ruff said. "Now we have some adjustments to make. It's a hole that someone else is going to have to fill." Devin Shore will move back to center with Faksa's injury, and Cody Eakin will have more responsibility on the penalty kill. Captain Jamie Benn will play despite having his nose broken when he was high-sticked by Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov. Benn played the third period against Washington with a visor to protect his nose, but didn't wear one at the morning skate. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen will make his third straight start and sixth straight appearance.

 

Wild projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Eric Staal -- Charlie Coyle

Jason Zucker -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund

Zach Parise -- Erik Haula -- Jason Pominville

Chris Stewart -- Tyler Graovac -- Jordan Schroeder

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella -- Matt Dumba

Nate Prosser -- Mike Reilly

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratches: Christian Folin, Christoph Bertschy

Injured: Victor Bartley (arm)

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Cody Eakin -- Patrick Eaves

Antoine Roussel -- Jason Spezza -- Tyler Seguin

Lauri Korpikoski -- Devin Shore -- Patrick Sharp

Curtis McKenzie -- Adam Cracknell -- Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Patrik Nemeth -- Stephen Johns

Dan Hamhuis -- Jordie Benn

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

Scratched: Jiri Hudler, Julius Honka

Injured: Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip), Jamie Oleksiak (hand), Johnny Oduya (lower body), Radek Faksa (lower body)

 

Status report

The Wild recalled Bertschy from Iowa of the American Hockey League on Monday.

 

Who's hot

Eaves has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past three games. … Granlund has eight points (one goal, seven assist) during a seven-game point streak. Suter has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past two games.

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