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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Dallas

Wild opens two-game homestand against Central Division rival Stars

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /
The Essentials
Puck drop: 7:08 p.m. CT
Watch: FOX Sports North; FOX Sports GOWild Watch Bar LocationsNHL.TV

Listen: KFAN 100.3 FM

Follow: @mnwild; GameCenter

The Opponent

The Dallas Stars have battled injuries to a number of their top players early in the season, one of the main reasons for an inconsistent start. Each time Dallas has won this season, its followed with a loss. The Stars are coming off a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre on Thursday. The game against the Wild on Saturday is the second of three-straight games on the road. Dallas is 1-2-0 away from home this season, all against Central Division opponents.


• Stars assistant coach Curt Fraser played three seasons with the Minnesota North Stars from 1987-90.

At the Rink

Video: Wild Pregame vs Dallas

The Wild was busy on Saturday, making a pair of roster tweaks as it prepares for a brief two-game homestand. Forward Teemu Pulkkinen cleared waivers and was assigned to Iowa of the American Hockey League while forward Tyler Graovac was recalled and made the trip north from Des Moines following last night's game there.

Graovac and Iowa each had their best games of the season, with the former scoring a pair of goals and assisting on another as Iowa won 6-1 over Milwaukee, the best team in the AHL.

"We had an unbelievable team win," Graovac said. "For me personally, it felt good to be on the scoresheet and be a part of that win. 

Video: Graovac Pregame vs Dallas

Graovac also scored a goal in Iowa's game on Tuesday but Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said he isn't expecting Graovac to come in and make an immediate impact offensively.

"We want to see his competitiveness that maybe we didn't see as much in training camp, and how bad he wants to play in the NHL," Boudreau said. "This is a good opportunity for him so let's see what he does."

The Wild will also get defenseman Jared Spurgeon back in the lineup after he missed the entire four-game road trip with an upper-body injury.

His return comes at a good time, as Minnesota will be without defenseman Marco Scandella, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. 

Erik Haula remains out with a lower-body ailment but is getting closer to a return.

Stars forwards Jiri Hudler and Jason Spezza could return to the lineup from injury tonight.

Video: Boudreau Pregame vs Dallas

Here are the projected lineups:


Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Mikael Granlund

Nino Niederreiter - Eric Staal - Charlie Coyle

Jason Zucker - Joel Eriksson Ek - Jason Pominville

Tyler Graovac - Zac Dalpe - Chris Stewart

Ryan Suter - Matt Dumba

Nate Prosser - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Christian Folin

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper


Antoine Roussel - Tyler Seguin - Jiri Hudler

Jamie Benn - Jason Spezza - Lauri Korpikoski

Curtis McKenzie - Radek Faksa - Patrick Eaves

Gemel Smith - Devin Shore - Brett Ritchie

Patrik Nemeth - John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis - Esa Lindell

Johnny Oduya - Jordie Benn

Kari Lehtonen

Antti Niemi

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