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Stars-Wild Preview

GAME: Dallas Stars (21-8-1) at Minnesota Wild (13-15-4).

TIME: Monday, 8 p.m. EST.

The red-hot Dallas Stars hope to continue their success on the road when they face the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Stars are 11-3-0 on the road, the best 14-game road start in franchise history. Dallas has won seven of eight and 12 of 14 overall to move into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.

Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen each had a goal and an assist in the Stars' 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. Jussi Jokinen, Jason Arnott and Nathan Perrott also scored for Dallas, tied with three other teams for the most road wins in the league.

"We'll take that win, but I'd like to see our team play a little harder, a little smarter," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "But we capitalized on our chances and Marty (Turco) made some good saves when we needed them."

The Stars improved to 13-0 this season when leading after 20 minutes, but Modano thought his team was fortunate to win Sunday.

"We weren't sharp tonight," he said. "But it's still nice to know that if you're not on top of your game, you can still find a way to win."

Modano extended his points streak to eight games Sunday with three goals and eight assists during that span. He has 468 career goals, tying Pat LaFontaine for third on the NHL scoring list for American born players.

Minnesota has won two of its last three games to improve to 3-5-1 this month.

Defenseman Kurtis Foster's power-play goal with 1:47 remaining in overtime lifted the Wild to a 4-3 victory over visiting Montreal on Saturday.

Brian Rolston had two goals and two assists for the Wild, who are two games below .500 despite allowing 80 goals in 32 games. Only Ottawa and Calgary have been better defensively.

"It's a character-builder for the team," said goalie Dwayne Roloson, who stopped 30 shots and ended a personal six-start losing streak. "Hopefully we can take the feeling from tonight's game and just carry it on."

STANDINGS: Stars - 43 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Wild - 30 points, 5th place, 13 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - Lehtinen, 18 goals; Modano, 20 assists and 29 points; Steve Ott, 73 PIM. Wild - Rolston, 15 goals and 30 points; Pierre-Marc Bouchard, 19 assists; Derek Boogaard, 62 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Stars - Power play: 17 percent (34 for 199), 16th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.9 percent (160 for 193), 12th (tied). Wild - Power play: 19.6 percent (35 for 178), 7th. Penalty killing: 89.2 percent (157 for 176), 1st.

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Turco (18-7-1, 2 SO, 2.52 GAA); Johan Hedberg (3-1-0, 3.86). Wild - Roloson (4-10-1, 1, 2.58); Manny Fernandez (9-5-3, 1, 2.06).

2003-2004 SEASON SERIES: Stars, 3-1-0.

LAST MEETING: March 2, 2004; Wild, 4-2. At Minneapolis, Rickard Wallin scored a pair of goals, and Fernandez stopped 32 shots to lift the Wild.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 11-3-0 on the road; Wild - 8-6-1 at home.

Associated Press
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