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Stars-Wild Game 4 Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Wednesday, April 20

8:30 p.m.

TV: FOX Sports Southwest, NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM


The Stars will look to bounce back after Monday’s 5-3 loss to Minnesota in Game 3. The Stars grabbed an early two-goal lead in the game, but the Wild stormed back to win their first game of the series.

“We talked about the mentality of a playoff series; we talked about the mentality of a team that was backed into a corner down 2-0. I feel like we’re in a playoff series now,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Now we’re in a playoff series because they’ve come to play. They had their tough game in Game 1, they got better in Game 2 and had a big push there for two periods in Game 3. Now we got a series.”

The Stars’ lead in the series is now 2-1, and Game 4 is big. The Stars will either head back to Dallas for Game 5 with a 3-1 lead, or it will be 2-2 and down to a best-of-three series.

“We want to win. It’s easy to find the desperation,” said Stars center Jason Spezza. “We’re trying to win a series, and nobody is going to give it to you. It’s a tough league, and they are a good team. They deserved to win last game, and they got it. We deserved to win the first two games, and we got it. If you play well enough, you are going to get results.”

Stars captain Jamie Benn did not practice Tuesday. Ruff said it was a maintenance day and that Benn is fine. Defenseman Kris Russell, who missed Monday’s game due to illness, practiced Tuesday but is questionable for Wednesday. There was no update on forward Tyler Seguin, who missed Monday’s game due to an issue related to his Achilles injury.

Injuries: D Kris Russell (illness) is questionable. C Tyler Seguin (Achilles) is day to day.


The Wild received a shot of energy with Monday’s 5-3 win that cut Dallas’ lead in the series to 2-1. The Wild are hoping to carry the momentum from that win over to Game 4 on Wednesday.

“It’s one game. Like we talked before the game, it was the biggest game of the year so far. And so is tomorrow night’s,” said Wild captain Mikko Koivu. “We want to carry that momentum into tomorrow night’s game. Again, it’s going to be a new game. I think that’s all about the playoffs. You can’t get too low; you can’t get too high.”

“We’ve got to bring the energy from last night to tomorrow but have a better start,” Wild coach John Torchetti said. “Be focused on the walls. You know they’re going to come out just like we were, we were hungry for a win. I’m sure they’re going to want to bounce back and try to get on top of us fast too with a forecheck and try to create turnovers like they did in the first five minutes. So we better be prepared and focused and ready to answer their storm and come back with ours.”

The Wild held an optional practice Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center. LW Zach Parise (upper body) skated before practice. LW Thomas Vanek (upper body) took part in practice. Torchetti told media he would have updates on both players Wednesday.

Injuries: LW Thomas Vanek (upper body) is week to week. LW Zach Parise (upper body) is out indefinitely.


*The Stars have outscored Minnesota 9-6 in the first three games of the series.

*The Stars have a 77-73 advantage in shots on goal through three games.

*The Stars are 1-13 on the power play and the Wild are 2-9 on the power play.

*Jamie Benn leads the Stars in playoff scoring with 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists).

*Jason Pominville leads the Wild in playoff scoring 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist).


Thu., April 14: Dallas 4, Minnesota 0

Sat., April 16: Dallas 2, Minnesota 1

Mon., April 18: Minnesota 5, Dallas 3

Wed., April 20: Dallas at Minnesota, 8:30

Fri., April 22: Minnesota at Dallas, TBD

*Sun., April 24: Dallas at Minnesota, TBD

*Tue., April 26: Minnesota at Dallas, TBD

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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