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Stars continue trip by visiting Wild

by Mike Battaglino /

STARS (2-1-0) at WILD (1-1-2)

TV: TXA 21, FS-N

Season series: The Minnesota Wild won two of three games against the Dallas Stars in 2012-13. This is the first of four this season; the teams don't see each other again until a home-and-home Jan. 18 and 21.

Big story: Dallas started its first road trip as a Central Division member with a 4-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. Minnesota defeated Winnipeg 2-1 at home Thursday for its first win of the season.

Each team will start its backup goalie due to an injury to its starter.

Team Scope:

Stars: After playing twice in eight days, this is Dallas' second of six in 10.

"We've been sitting around not doing a lot for quite a bit of time," coach Lindy Ruff said on Fox Sports Southwest. "... We haven't had a lot to talk about, we haven't had a lot to fix, we haven't had a lot of system stuff to go over. So I think now it gives us a chance to keep working at our game.

"We get to play on a regular basis now. We're probably the team that's played the least and now we get a chance to catch up."

A newly formed line of Jamie Benn, Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin combined for eight points Friday. Seguin had two goals and two assists.

"Obviously it's our first road game, and first real road trip," Seguin said. "The biggest focus going in was to have a good start. … All in all, we want to stay consistent here and continue this road trip pretty solid."

Goalie Dan Ellis likely will start after replacing Kari Lehtonen (lower body) in the second period Friday. Ellis faced 23 shots in less than 26 minutes.

Wild: Minnesota has outshot each of its four opponents but did not have a win until beating the Jets.

"In an unbiased way, we carried the play for most of each game," forward Matt Cooke told Thursday. "But carrying the play for 55 minutes doesn't get you a win. So we had to prepare to play for 60 minutes ... just being willing, ready and able to go out right from the drop of the puck at the start of the game and continue it right through to the end."

The Wild have allowed an NHL-low 22 shots against per game. That is caused, in part, by winning a League-best 60.6 percent of faceoffs.

"We want to be a puck-possession team; we want to spend time in the offensive zone; we want to grind teams down," Cooke said. "We want to catch teams having to keep their [defensemen] out there for a long period of time … If we're shooting the puck and playing [in the] offensive zone, they can't be doing it in our end."

Josh Harding likely will make his second straight start in place of Niklas Backstrom (knee).

Who's hot: Stars rookie forward Alex Chiasson has a goal in each of the first three games, and has scored at least one in seven of his 10 NHL games (nine total). … Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin has a point in three of the four games; his two goals match his total for all of last season.

Injury report: Stars defenseman Aaron Rome (hip) is out. Lehtonen played 34:30 and stopped all 21 shots he faced. … Wild forward Charlie Coyle (knee) and Michael Rupp (knee) are out. Backstrom and Rupp took part in an optional skate Friday.

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