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Stars-Wild Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Tuesday, February 9

7:00 p.m.


Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

The Stars (33-15-5) are coming off a 5-1 loss to Chicago in Dallas on Saturday. Special teams killed the Stars, who allowed a power-play goal 34 seconds into the game, failed to score on more than ten minutes of power play time and allowed two shorthanded goals.

“Special teams didn’t help us,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “It started the first shift of the game. Special teams were part of it. They were the better executing team. Our puck management wasn’t good enough. We are not going to beat that team managing the puck the way we did.”

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Stars, who are 4-2-0 in their past six games. The Stars are five points behind Chicago in the race for first place in the Central Division and first overall in the Western Conference. The Stars have three games in hand.

Tuesday’s game is the first of a two-game road trip for the Stars. They also play at Chicago.

Injuries: Jason Spezza (upper body) is on injured reserve.

The Wild (23-20-9) lost 4-1 at St. Louis. The Wild outshot the Blues 39-24, including 24-7 in the second period, but lost their fifth straight game and for the tenth time in their past eleven (1-9-1). Minnesota was 1-7 on the power play while the Blues scored three times on their six chances on the power play.

"It's frustrating, obviously the outcome of it, but on our side right now we have to look at the positives," Wild forward Jason Pominville told the team’s official site. "We showed a lot of fight. It's been a little while since we showed that much fight, and pushback, and had that many opportunities."

The Wild, who went winless on a three-game road trip (0-3-0), are three points out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

D Jared Spurgeon was injured in Saturday’s game and is doubtful for Tuesday. Center Mikko Koivu left Monday’s practice early with some discomfort but he should be able to play, according to the Wild’s official site.

Tuesday’s game opens a three-game homestand for the Wild, who will also face Washington and Boston.

Injuries: D Jared Spurgeon (deep bruise) is doubtful. Mikko Koivu (undisclosed) is probable. D Jonas Brodin (foot) is on injured reserve.

*This is the fifth and final meeting between the two teams.

*The Stars are 3-1-0 (6 points) in the season series.

*The Wild are 1-1-2 (4 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

*Jan. 9, at Dallas: Wild 2, Stars 1

*The Stars are 10-5-1 vs. the Central Division.

*The Wild are 9-8-4 vs. the Central Division.

*The Wild are 0-4-1 in their past five home games and haven’t won at Xcel Energy Center since Dec. 28.

*Tuesday’s game is Minnesota’s first home game in 15 days and just the second in the past 25 days.

*The Stars are 1-5-3 in their past nine road games.

*The Stars have allowed three goals or more in seven of their past nine games.

*The Wild have allowed three goals or more in seven of their past ten games.

*Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin co-lead the Stars with 28 goals. *Benn leads the Stars with 59 points.

*Zach Parise leads the Wild with 17 goals. Mikko Koivu leads the Wild with 35 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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