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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Dallas

The 2018-19 regular season draws to a close Saturday night deep in the heart of Texas

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe /
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (37-35-9) at Dallas Stars (42-32-7)

Puck drop: 7:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North, FOX Sports App

Listen: KFAN FM 100.3, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild; GameCenter

DALLAS -- The Wild's 2018-19 season will come to a close on Saturday night when it faces the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

Minnesota is coming off a 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday in what was a meaningless game for both teams when it came to postseason implications.

That will be the case again on Saturday. Minnesota will be outside the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons while Dallas is locked into one of the two wild card positions in the Western Conference, but has been left in a state of oblivion when it comes to who its opponent will be.

Entering the final day of the season, Dallas leads Colorado by one point for the first wild-card position, which will earn a First Round matchup with the Central Division champion. Whomever finishes in the second wild card will head to Calgary for round one and try to navigate through the Pacific Division half of the bracket.

In addition to the Central Division banner, home ice for the division's other First Round matchup is also on the line.

Nashville is currently in the driver's seat for the Central crown, leading both Winnipeg and St. Louis by one point. Nashville hosts Chicago while Winnipeg plays at Arizona and St. Louis hosts Winnipeg.

If nothing changes on the season's final day, Dallas would head to Nashville while St. Louis would start in Winnipeg.

But all of that is very much in doubt.

As for the Wild, Minnesota looks ahead to the NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday. It is participating in the lottery for the first time since 2012. 

In terms of odds, the Wild currently has the 11th best odds of jumping up and nabbing the top overall pick in this summer's NHL Draft. Both Chicago and Philadelphia (home against Carolina) trail Minnesota by one point in the standings while the Wild trails the Florida Panthers (home against New Jersey) by two points. 

Offense by defense

Minnesota leads the NHL in PPG (16) and percentage of goals scored by defensemen (20.9%) and ranks T-4th in goals scored (44) by defensemen.

Wild defensemen have totaled 150 of the team's 571 points this season, ranking seventh in the NHL at 26.3%.

Series notes

All-Time Wild Record: 30-31-13 (20-11-5 at Xcel Energy Center, 10-20-8 at Dallas)

2018-19: Minnesota is 1-2-1 in four season meetings against Dallas…The Wild earned a 3-1 victory in the first game at American Airlines Center (10/19), recorded a point in a 2-1 overtime loss in the second game at Xcel Energy Center (12/22), fell, 3-1, in the third game in Dallas (2/1) and dropped the fourth game, 4-1 in Saint Paul (3/14)…C Eric Staal (0-3=3) and LW Jason Zucker (2-1=3) lead the team with three points each…D Brad Hunt (1-1=2), LW Zach Parise (1-1=2) and D Ryan Suter (1-1=2) have two points each…G Devan Dubnyk is 1-2-1 with a 1.98 GAA and a .934 SV% in four starts…C Tyler Seguin leads the Stars with four points (2-2=4)…D Miro Heiskanen (0-3=3) and RW Alexander Radulov (2-1=3) have three points each…G Ben Bishop is 3-1-0 with a 1.15 GAA and a .958 SV% in four games…G Anton Khudobin stopped 14-of-15 shots in relief during the fourth meeting.

WILD LEADERS: C Mikko Koivu leads Minnesota with 34 points (13-21=34) in 47 contests against Dallas…Parise has 31 points (15-16=31) in 33 games…Suter has 23 points (5-18=23) in 55 matches…Staal owns 22 points (12-10=22) in 27 contests.

WILD GOALIES: Dubnyk is 8-10-3 with a 2.68 GAA, a .913 SV% and one shutout in 22 games (20 starts) vs. the Stars…G Alex Stalock is 4-3-0 with a 3.11 GAA and a .900 SV% in seven starts.

STARS LEADERS: LW Jamie Benn leads Dallas with 34 points (14- 20=34) in 39 contests against Minnesota…Seguin owns 33 points (12-21=33) in 28 games…D John Klingberg has 16 points (5-11=16) in 21 matches…C Jason Spezza owns 15 points (5-10=15) in 29 contests.

STARS GOALIES: Bishop is 5-4-0 with a 1.64 GAA and a .939 SV% in 10 games (nine starts) vs. the Wild…Khudobin is 1-2-0 with a 2.83 GAA and a .891 SV% in four games (three starts)…G Landon Bow has not faced Minnesota.

Did you know?

Minnesota is 12-6-5 in its last 23 games against Dallas…The Wild has points in eight of the last 12 games at American Airlines Center (6-4-2).

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