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Stars-Wild Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars

Saturday November 15, 2014
1:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (6-6-4) won their second straight game, defeating the Los Angeles Kings, 2-0, at Staples Center Thursday night. Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots for his first shutout of the season and Ryan Garbutt and Jason Spezza scored for the Stars.

“I thought it was a great game by us with some big saves by the goaltender when we needed it,” Spezza said. “I thought the third period was a really good period for us. We’ve struggled with the lead a little bit this season, and that was a good step in the right direction for us to lock it down like that.”

Ales Hemsky was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game, but he will be in the lineup Saturday. RW Patrick Eaves left Thursday’s game with a lower body injury and did not return. He is out for Saturday.

LW Travis Moen, acquired from Montreal on Tuesday, practiced with the Stars for the first time on Friday. He is not expected to play Saturday.

Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (lower body), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip/groin) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Wild

The Wild (8-7-0) snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over Buffalo in St. Paul Thursday night. Nino Niederreiter scored two first period goals as the Wild built a 4-2 lead and then sealed the win with an empty-net goal late in the third period.

“The victory was definitely huge for us, a four-game skid where we definitely didn't play our best hockey,” Niederreiter said. “Tonight, we played a couple of pretty solid periods.”

Niklas Backstrom got the win in goal, stopping 25 of 26 shots after taking over for Darcy Kuemper, who allowed two goals on two shots.

Wild forward Zach Parise, who has been out with a concussion, is practicing but will not travel with the team to Dallas. He could return Sunday when the Wild host Winnipeg.

Minnesota recalled D Justin Falk from Iowa (AHL) on Friday and assigned D Christian Folin to Iowa.

Injuries: LW Zach Parise (concussion), D Jonas Brodin (illness), D Marco Scandella (illness) and LW Matt Cooke (lower body) are out.

Series Notes

*This is the second of five meetings between the Stars and Wild this season.

*The Wild won the first meeting, 4-1, in St. Paul on Nov. 1

*The Stars are 19-1-0 vs. the Wild in Dallas since 2003-04.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 1-3-4 at home this season and are winless in their last five (0-3-2).

*Minnesota is 2-6-0 on the road and has lost three straight and six of its last seven away from home (1-6-0).

*Minnesota is 3-0-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 0-3-2 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 9-9 on the penalty kill over the last two games.

*Minnesota has failed to score on the power play in 13 of 15 games this season and ranks 29th in the league on the power play at 8.3 percent.

*Stars forward Ryan Garbutt has scored goals in consecutive games, both game-winners and both unassisted.

*Stars forward Tyler Seguin is on a four-game points streak (five goals, two assists).

*Seguin leads Dallas in goals (12) and points (22).

*Nino Niederreiter leads the Wild in goals (7), and Zach Parise leads the Wild in points (10).

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 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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