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Wild focus on power play to kickstart offense

Minnesota has one goal in two games against Dallas in Western Conference First Round

by Dan Myers / Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- If the Minnesota Wild are going to hold serve on home ice in their Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars, they must find a way to create more offense. 

Forwards Zach Parise and Thomas Vanek are still out with injuries so the Wild, who trail the best-of-7 series 2-0 after losing 2-1 in Game 2 on Saturday, believe the best way to score more could come via the power play. 

Minnesota's only goal in the series came late in Game 2 when defenseman Marco Scandella blasted a slap shot from the point past Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen while on the power play. Until that point, however, the Wild's man-advantage units were rather quiet.

Video: MIN@DAL, Gm2: Scandella rockets home PPG from point

Enter Mike Reilly. 

The Wild recalled the rookie defenseman from Iowa of the American Hockey League on Sunday and he appears poised to enter the lineup for Game 3 when the series shifts to Xcel Energy Center (8:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, FS-SW, FS-N, FS-WI, SN, TVA Sports 2). If he does, it will be his first career appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Wild coach John Torchetti praised Reilly's offensive instincts and said he has a chance to add more firepower from the point, especially on the power play.

"He always does that," Torchetti said. "Great puck mover, can skate great, makes great decisions, good on the line."  

It's not just executing better on the power play that Torchetti thinks is key, it's drawing more of them. Minnesota has seven power-play opportunities through two games, five of which came in Game 2.

"We have to get on the power play more with our work ethic and we have to find a way to be more physical against them," Torchetti said. "We have to get our offense going and it has to be with better execution on the power play." 
Reilly, who signed as a free agent July 1, had one goal and six assists in 29 games during the regular season. He was with the Wild until April 5 before being reassigned to Iowa with two games remaining in the regular season.

"I definitely think I'm ready," Reilly said. "I think it was good for me to go and play some games down there and get my rhythm back a little bit after maybe two average games before I was sent down. I think it was good for me to get some games, get some good minutes and play in every situation, and hopefully prepare me for a game I might be thrown into."

The Wild had a sparsely attended optional skate Sunday. 

Torchetti confirmed Parise is no closer to re-joining the lineup. The Wild's leading goal scorer missed the first two games of the series and was not in Dallas because of a herniated disc in his back. 

Parise is attempting to rehab the injury with physical therapy first but could need season-ending microdiscectomy surgery, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Vanek remains week-to-week with an upper-body injury. He hasn't played since April 1.

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