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Stars' Sharp says Game 3 was 'opportunity lost'

Dallas, which leads Minnesota 2-1 in series, tries to avoid another letdown in Game 4

by Dan Myers / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Dallas Stars watched plenty of film before practice Tuesday to try to figure out what went wrong in a 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round on Monday.

Dallas leads the best-of-7 series 2-1. Game 4 is at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports 3, FS-SW, FS-N, FS-WI).

The Stars couldn't have asked for a better start to Game 3. Forward Patrick Sharp scored on the first shift, then he made it 2-0 at 4:10. A goal late in the first period by Wild forward Chris Porter turned the tide, though, and Minnesota scored four straight to take a two-goal lead into the third period.

"[It was 2-0] in the series, 2-0 in the game, it was an opportunity lost," Sharp said after practice. "But we had a good chance to look at the video today, take some positives out of it and have another crack at it [Wednesday]."

Stars coach Lindy Ruff said they got a little too loose on the back end and took their foot off the pedal with a chance to take a commanding lead in the series.

"I think we played not to lose, which is a recipe for losing," Ruff said. "I think the goal at the end of the (first) period gave them a little bit of life. This building was pretty quiet for the first period which was our plan, get on the board early, and I thought we did. I thought the momentum shift was getting that goal, it created a little bit of life before going into the dressing room for them, and they fed off that."

Defenseman Alex Goligoski credited the Wild with being the more desperate team but said there is another level the Stars must get to in order to avoid a similar fate in Game 4.

"One of those ones you learn from and flush it away," Goligoski said.

Forward Jamie Benn was given a maintenance day and did not practice Tuesday.

"The fans don't need to worry. There's nothing to worry about," Ruff said. "Just felt it would be the best thing for him."

Center Tyler Seguin remained in Dallas after re-aggravating an injury to his left Achilles in Game 2. Seguin missed the final 10 regular-season games and Game 1 before playing 15:40 in the Stars' 2-1 win Saturday; he had no points and one shot on goal.

Defenseman Kris Russell, who missed Game 3 because of an illness, was back on the ice for practice and played next to regular partner Jason Demers.

"We'll see; he hasn't been feeling better for a while, so it might take more than just [Wednesday]," Ruff said. "But he can be an option if all of the sudden he feels a lot better than he has been."

Jordie Benn played in Russell's place for Game 3 and was plus-2 in 12:21 of ice time.

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