After the frenzied activity of Wednesday’s National Hockey League Trade Deadline Day, the Minnesota Wild will roll out a pair of its newest members tonight.
Minnesota acquired Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick on the deadline from Buffalo for forward Torrey Mitchell and two second-round draft picks (2014 and 2016). Both are expected to be in the lineup tonight.
Moulson will skate on a line with Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound wing has notched 262 points (135-127=262), including 16 game-winning goals, in 377 career NHL games with Los Angeles, the Islanders and Buffalo. He is fourth in the NHL in power play tallies (47) and 16th goals scored since the 2009-10 season.
McCormick is expected to join the fourth line with Erik Haula and Dany Heatley. The 6-foot-2, 224-pound wing brings grit and physical play to the lineup, and scored five points (1-4=5), recorded 60 hits and 45 penalty minutes (PIM) in 29 games with Buffalo this season.
The Wild seeks its sixth-straight win tonight and will have a chance to create a little separation in the Western Conference playoff picture. Minnesota currently has a five-point cushion against tonight’s opponent, Central Division rival, the Dallas Stars. The Wild leads the season series 2-1-0, winning the first two meetings at Xcel Energy Center, 5-1 (Oct. 12) and 3-2 in OT (Jan. 18). Dallas won the last meeting 4-0 at American Airlines Center (Jan. 21).
It seems like a lifetime ago, but the Minnesota Wild won its last outing on Monday against the Calgary Flames, 3-2. Kyle Brodziak, Jared Spurgeon and Zach Parise scored for Minnesota, while Kuemper made 21 saves to earn his 11th win, tying a Wild record for most wins by a rookie goalie in team history (Josh Harding, 2007-08).
Dallas rolled over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, 6-1. Tyler Seguin recorded a hat trick, while Jamie Benn, Alex Goligoski and Ryan Garbutt rounded out the scoring. Kari Lehtonen made 32 saves in the game.
Meet the South Stars
Dallas did some deadline work of its own, acquiring former Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas from the Florida Panthers in exchange for backup goalie Dan Ellis.
The Stars currently sit in the second wild-card playoff spot and are trending upwards, going 6-2-2 in its last 10 games. Seguin (28-35=63) and Benn (24-35=59) lead the team offensively, while Minnesota native Goligoski (5-24=29) anchors the blue line.
If You’re Going
The Stars will retire Mike Modano ‘s no. 9 jersey tonight. Of course, the Stars’ legend started his career in Minnesota when the team was the North Stars, and helped Dallas win the Stanley Cup in 1999. No word on whether or not the jersey will constantly be flapping in the wind in the rafters, like it did when he’d skate down the ice during his playing career.
Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon has five points in five games since returning from a fractured foot, including a goal on Monday for his second of the season.
Probable Wild Lineup
Moulson and McCormick are expected to make their debuts tonight in Big D:
Clayton Stoner will rejoin the D-corps tonight:
Between the Pipes
Kuemper gets the nod again and is 1-1-0 with a 2.94 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage in two starts
Yeo Quote of the Day
We’re going to a building that we haven’t performed too well in. You add to that that we’re playing a Dallas team that I think is very strong and a team that is playing very well right now. That’s going to be an intense game.
- Yeo on playing in Dallas
View From the Press Box
Honorary State of Hockey Resident
D Alex Goligoski (Grand Rapids) is a Minnesota native.
Modano was selected first overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft and played in 1,459 games with the Stars organization, scoring 557 goals and 1,359 points, becoming one of the greatest American-born hockey players of all-time.
Wild at Dallas will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 7:30 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.
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