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Stars-Wild Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Saturday, November 28

7:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (18-5-0) defeated Vancouver, 3-2, in a shootout Friday. The Stars, who were outshot 36-25, scored twice on the power play and killed off six of seven Vancouver power plays.

“Some night’s you’re not going to have your best, and it’s important as a team to find a way to win. We’re finding a way to do that,” said Stars center Jason Spezza. “After we got embarrassed against Ottawa (7-4 loss Tuesday), I think it was an important bounce-back game for us. To have seven power plays against, we could have very easily been frustrated, but we stuck with it and got the fate we deserved.”

Antti Niemi made 34 saves and stopped all three shooters he faced in the shootout. Jamie Benn and Spezza scored on the power play and Tyler Seguin scored the lone goal in the shootout.

The win was the sixth in the past seven games for the Stars, who are off to the best 23-game start in franchise history. The Stars are 9-2-0 in their past eleven games.

Saturday’s game begins a four-game road trip for the Stars, who also play at Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton.

Injuries: G Kari Lehtonen (upper body) is out.

The Wild (11-7-3) lost 3-1 to Winnipeg at Xcel Energy Center Friday afternoon. The Wild managed just 15 shots on goal against Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, who was making his NHL debut.

"I think our record might be a little misleading," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "There was a lot of inconsistencies in our game, and early in the year I think you get away with that stuff; you show the video and maybe it gets a little bit better. But when you're winning games, I don't think those things sink in. … I think we're playing the same game that we were at the start of the year, but the league gets better, and we're not getting away with those things. This is maybe a good kick in the [rear].”

The loss was the fifth in the past six games for the Wild (1-4-1).

Forward Zach Parise returned to the Wild lineup after missing the past eight games with a sprained knee.

Darcy Kuemper is expected to get the start in goal for Minnesota Saturday.

Saturday’s game wraps up a four-game homestand for the Wild.

Injuries: D Marco Scandella (lower body) is out.

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

*The Stars won the first meeting, 3-2 (OT) in Dallas on November 14.

*The Stars are winless in their last five games in Minnesota (0-4-1).

*The Stars are 9-2-0 on the road.

*Minnesota is 8-3-0 at home.

*The Stars are 2-1-0 vs. the Central Division.

*The Wild are 5-3-2 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars rank second in the NHL in scoring at 3.48 goals per game.

*The Wild are tied for seventh in scoring at 2.86 goals per game.

*Minnesota ranks fourth in the league on faceoffs at 51.7 percent.

*The Stars rank fifth on faceoffs at 51.2 percent.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn has points in seven straight games (7 goals, 5 assists).

*Stars center Tyler Seguin has points in seven straight games (3 goals, 6 assists).

*Benn leads the NHL with 17 goals and ranks second in the NHL with 33 points.

*Mikko Koivu (4 goals, 16 assists) and Ryan Suter (3 goals, 17 assists) co-lead Minnesota with 20 points.

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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