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Stars-Wild Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Saturday, January 9

7:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (29-10-4) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 shootout win over Winnipeg Thursday at American Airlines Center.

“It was a big game for a lot of reasons,” said Stars forward Patrick Sharp. “We weren’t happy with the way we played in the last road trip. This was a Central Division opponent, and we’re on home ice. For any number of reasons, you can circle this one and be happy we got the two points. We can still play better than we did tonight, but we’ll take the positive out of it and get the win.”

The Stars are 5-4 in games that have gone beyond regulation, including 2-2 in shootouts and 3-2 in three-on-three overtime.

Thursday’s win ran the Stars’ winning streak at home to five games.

Stars defenseman Jordie Benn, who missed Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury, is not expected to play Saturday. Forward Ales Hemsky, who has been out since Dec. 29 with a lower-body injury, is skating but not expected to play Saturday.

Saturday’s game will wrap up a two-game homestand for the Stars and a stretch of nine games in 15 days.

The Stars announced Friday that GM Jim Nill has signed a five-year contract extension that will keep him under contract until 2022-23.

Injuries: D Jordie Benn (lower body) doubtful. RW Ales Hemsky (lower body) is on injured reserve.

The Wild (21-11-8) lost 4-3 in overtime to Philadelphia Thursday in St. Paul. The Wild rallied from a 3-1 deficit to force extra playing time, but Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto scored with 37 seconds left in overtime to give Philadelphia the extra point.

“It's pretty hard to say that we should play that OT differently,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "Obviously, they scored a goal, but we dominated overtime, and then they scored one. That's what we have to do. Every game is a new one, and we obviously have a long way to go to make the playoffs, but hopefully we're saving some magic for the playoffs in overtime.”

The Wild are 1-7 in three-on-three overtime games this season.

The Wild recalled D Mike Reilly from Iowa (AHL) on Friday and assigned D Tyson Strachan to Iowa.

The Wild play in Dallas Saturday and then return home for a three-game homestand.

Injuries: G Darcy Kuemper (concussion) and Nate Prosser (undisclosed) are day to day.

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

*The Stars are 3-0-0 (6 points) in the season series.

*The Wild are 0-1-2 (2 points) in the season series.

*Nov. 14, at Dallas: Stars 3, Wild 2 (OT)

*Nov. 28, at Minnesota: Stars 4, Wild 3 (OT)

*Dec. 21, at Minnesota: Stars 6, Wild 3

*The Stars are 3-3-2 since the NHL’s holiday break.

*The Wild are 3-2-2 since the break.

*The Stars are 8-2-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Wild are 8-5-4 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars have won five straight at home and are 9-1-0 in their past ten at American Airlines Center.

*The Wild are 4-4-4 in their past 12 games on the road.

*The Stars are 1-16 on the power play over the past six games.

*The Wild are 1-20 on the power play over the past ten games.

*Stars forward Patrick Sharp has points in 11 straight games (6 goals, 8 assists).

*Wild captain Mikko Koivu has 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists) in his past 13 games.

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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