1 2 3 T
Dallas Stars DAL 0 1 0 1
19 SHOTS 36
10 HITS 15
8 PIM 6
1/3 PP 2/4

GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Dallas

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

Minnesota Wild (1-1-2: 4 points, T-10th in Western Conference, T-4th in Central Division) vs. Dallas Stars (2-1-0: 4 points, T-10th in Western Conference, T-4th in Central Division)
Much has been made about the Minnesota Wild’s new Central Division rivals, heck, even Wild.com previewed each of the team’s new divisional opponents in a feature called “Know Your Foe.” But the new ‘rival’ that probably makes the most sense for Wild fans to get riled up about is the Dallas Stars. Without getting to the off-ice history that only brings up old wounds, we’ll concentrate on the teams as they currently stand. Last season, the Wild won the head-to-head matchup with Dallas, 2-1, and is 12-9-2 all-time at Xcel Energy Center against the Stars.

Despite only securing one win on the season, there are a number of promising signs for the club through its first four games that could easily be featured in the “Worthless Stat” section of the preview. Heading into play yesterday, the Wild ranked first in the league in shots against per game, giving up an average 22 shots per game. While the club has been stingy in the D-zone, Minnesota has stepped up its shot attempts, averaging nearly 10 more shots per game (31.5) than opponents.  

Through four games, the Wild has also had success on the man advantage. The club ranks T-6th in the league, firing at a 26.3 percent conversation rate. On the other hand, the team would like to improve on the penalty kill. Thus far, the Wild is well below last season’s pace of 80.7 percent, currently killing 66.7 percent.

The Wild earned its first win of the season on Thursday, a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Jonas Brodin and Matt Cooke each scored, their second of the year, while Josh Harding made 14 saves to earn the win.

Against the Jets, the Wild mixed up its lines and will go with the same units tonight. Nino Niederreiter joined Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu on the first line and played his strongest game of the season. Jason Pominville was moved to the wing with Mikael Granlund and Dany Heatley. Cooke was again with Kyle Brodziak and Justin Fontaine joined them on the wing. The third line was a part of both even-strength goals.

Last night, the Stars beat the Jets, 4-1, in Dallas. The Stars were led by offseason acquisition Tyler Seguin, who scored twice and added two assists. Dallas captain Jamie Benn scored and assisted on two goals. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves before leaving with a lower-body injury. Dan Ellis came in relief of Lehtonen and made 22 saves.
Meet the Planes If You're Going
Jim Nill was named the club's new general manager in April and started making moves immediately. He hired longtime Sabres head coach, Lindy Ruff, to be the team’s bench boss.

Nill traded for veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar and re-signed him immediately. The GM then made a big trade for Seguin and Rich Peverley from the Boston Bruins.
All fans in attendance will receive a Wild poster presented by Star Tribune.

The Wild will wear its RED sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Jonas Brodin has recorded a point in three of the four games this season, leading Wild defensemen and tying for the team lead with three points (2-1=3). He’s tied for the NHL lead in shooting percentage (50.0%), scoring two goals on four shots to match his goal total in 45 games last season.

Fans can guess who's going to be hot with the Wild's HotBox Fantasy Challenge presented by the Pioneer Press for a chance to win great prizes.
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
Yeo | Konopka | Pominville
Wild vs. Stars Preview
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
The lines will remain the same as Thursday:


The D-pairings will also remain the same:


Josh Harding will get the start for the second-straight game. The netminder is 2-1-0 with a 2.70 GAA, a .905 SV% and one shutout in five appearances (three starts).
View From The Press Box

Our centermen, there's no question. They're digging in. They're bearing down. It's something we pride ourselves in, our centermen pride themselves in. And like I've said we've talked about these little things, the details, and it's obviously a big advantage if you can start with the puck.

- Yeo on the Wild's ability to win faceoffs
Marco Scandella and Nate Prosser will be out of the lineup tonight on the blue line. 

Charlie Coyle is on Injured Reserve with a knee sprain and is expected to miss three to four weeks. Niklas Backstrom skated today but is still considered day-to-day with a knee strain. Mike Rupp is still out with a lower-body injury and also skated today.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
Defenseman Alex Goligoski (Grand Rapids) is a Minnesota native and played at the University of Minnesota. Minnesota set a franchise record by winning 45-of-61 faceoffs Thursday (73.8%). Kyle Brodziak and Zenon Konopka each won 11-of-14 faceoffs (78.6%), while Mikko Koivu won 14-of-19 (73.7%). Entering play Friday, Minnesota leads the NHL in faceoff win percentage (60.6%).
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Stars will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 7:00 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.  
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Yeo - Oct. 9
Yeo, Veilleux, Harding - Oct. 9
Photo Gallery
Wild vs WPG - Oct. 10
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