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GAMEDAY: Wild at Stars

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Mike Doyle - Manager of Digital Content

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GAMEDAY: Wild at Stars
Minnesota Wild vs. Dallas Stars

Minnesota Wild (18-10-2: 38 points, 4th in Western Conference, 2nd in Northwest Division) at Dallas Stars  (15-13-3: 33 points, 8th in Western Conference, 3rd in Pacific Division)
The Minnesota Wild looks to knock down another barrier in its push down the home stretch of the regular season, tonight in Dallas against the Stars. Minnesota hasn’t won a game on the Stars’ home ice since March 23, 2003, a 3-2 overtime win. However, recently the Wild has been making a habit of ending long road droughts. Last week, the Wild took a game in Vancouver for the first time since 2009 and in Detroit, its first win there since 2006.

The Wild is also developing a winning habit lately, taking its last five games. In each win during the stretch, Minnesota’s margin of victory was two goals, the first such win streak in franchise history.  

A large part of the Wild’s success has come with the play of goaltender Niklas Backstrom. For his efforts last week, Backstrom was named the National Hockey League’s Second Star. In three starts, he went 3-0-0 stopping 104 of 107 shots faced for a 1.00 goals against average, a .972 save percentage, including his first shutout of the season against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

Yesterday, the Wild recalled forward Jake Dowell and goaltender Darcy Kuemper from the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League. If an injured Mike Rupp is unable to go, Dowell is expected to make his debut in a Minnesota sweater tonight against his former team, the Stars. Dowell played in 52 games with Dallas last season and signed with the Wild as a free agent on July 4. The club reassigned forward Jason Zucker and goaltender Matt Hackett to Houston yesterday.

Minnesota topped the Sharks, 2-0, on Saturday afternoon. Zach Parise retook the team’s lead in goals, scoring his 12th of the season as a San Jose penalty expired in the second period. He took a cross-ice pass from Mikko Koivu and put the puck into the upper-half of the net. Ryan Suter picked up the second assist on the play. Jared Spurgeon expanded the lead on a power play in the third, ripping a laser one-timer for his fourth goal of the season. Suter and Koivu assisted on the goal. Backstrom made 33 saves for his first shutout of the year.

The Stars earned a 5-2 victory against the Colorado Avalance on Saturday on the strength of five different goal scorers. Derek Roy, Jordie Benn, Eric Nystrom, Cody Eakin and Jaromir Jagr all scored for Dallas. Kari Lehtonen made 33 saves in the win. 

UPDATED: Mike Rupp is expected to play tonight against the Stars.
Meet The South Stars If You're Going
Jaromir Jagr still has the moves. The 41-year-old has a goal in each of the last three games and six points during that stretch to lift his team-high total to 24. Jagr is one assist from becoming the 12th in league history to reach 1,000. The Dallas Stars are celebrating their 20th year in Dallas by honoring the 20th Anniversary Team, players who played in Dallas and were voted in by fans as the best and most popular. Wild Assistant Coach Darryl Sydor was voted to the team and will be honored tonight.

The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Ryan Suter has a point in 11 of 13 games, with 17 points (2-15=17) in that span, including a seven-game point streak. Prior to Suter, no Wild defenseman had a point streak longer than four games. The alternate captain leads all Wild players in assists (24) and is tied for the team lead in points (26) this season. Suter already ranks fifth on the Wild’s all-time, single-season ledger for assists by a defenseman.

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 - March 23 |
Wild at DAL - March 25
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
Mike Rupp returns to the Wild lineup tonight after missing the past three games with a lower body injury:

Parise – Koivu – Coyle
Bouchard – Cullen – Setoguchi
Heatley – Brodziak – Clutterbuck
Mitchell – Konopka – Rupp

The blue line will remain the same as the Wild’s last outing:

Suter – Brodin
Spurgeon – Stoner
Falk – Gilbert

Backstrom has started 14 of the Wild’s last 15 games and moved to 13-3-1 with a 1.98 GAA and a .929 SV% in his last 17 games. In the Wild’s five-game winning streak, he sports a 2.00 GAA and a .942 SV%. Backstrom entered play Sunday evening tied for the NHL lead with 16 wins.
View From The Press Box
We're not anywhere yet. The only thing we've done is set ourselves up the right way.

- Yeo on looking forward at the remainder of the season.
Jake Dowell, Brett Clark and Nate Prosser are expected to be tonight's healthy scratches.

Goaltender Josh Harding (treatment for multiple sclerosis) is on Injured Reserve.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
D Alex Goligoski (Grand Rapids) is a Minnesota native. LW Eric Nystrom spent the 2010-11 season with the Wild, tallying 12 points (4-8=12) in 82 games. Minnesota has scored four or more goals eight times this season, including in three of its last five and six of its last 12 games. Over that 12-game stretch (since 2/28), Minnesota ranks 5th in the NHL at 3.25 GPG.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
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

Click here to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.
Wild Recalls Two From Houston | State of Hobey | Prospects Report - March 20  Five Takeaways vs. SJS
Backstrom Postgame - March 23 | Parise Postgame - March 23 | Spurgeon Postgame - March 23 |
Wild vs. SJS - March 23
Photo Gallery
Wild vs. SJS - March 23 |
2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 29 '13 MIN 3 at DAL 5 J. Benn
Mar 25 '13 MIN 7 at DAL 4 K. Brodziak
Jan 20 '13 DAL 0 at MIN 1 Z. Parise
M. Koivu3182028+41602
Z. Parise31141327+81253
R. Suter3122426+01620
M. Cullen3151722+91000
D. Setoguchi31111021+111842
D. Heatley319918-11631
P. Bouchard2641014+6802
J. Spurgeon224711+7232
K. Brodziak31639-10611
T. Gilbert28369-101410
C. Clutterbuck25347-52100
C. Stoner31077+62000
C. Coyle20336+51102
J. Brodin28246+31010
M. Granlund19156-3400
J. Zucker14415+5600
T. Mitchell29224-71901
M. Rupp27123-25500
J. Falk27022-62400
M. Scandella6101-1400
Z. Konopka25000-37700
N. Prosser13000+4400
D. Powe8000+1900
J. Larsson1000+0000
N. Backstrom2617-7-2587082.30.918
D. Kuemper41-2-081052.22.924
J. Harding41-1-07612.92.885
J. Jagr31141125-11862
L. Eriksson3291423-2413
J. Benn2561622-73412
D. Roy2741620+6411
C. Eakin3251217+12520
A. Goligoski3111617+11400
M. Ryder196814+4822
R. Whitney165813+5210
B. Morrow296511-81811
A. Roussel235510+06300
S. Robidas3201010+33200
E. Cole31538-61402
T. Daley30437-31020
E. Nystrom32426-34302
B. Dillon32336+15301
R. Smith28336-2400
V. Fiddler32156+03810
J. Benn23156-31010
R. Garbutt23325-22000
P. Larsen16202-51610
T. Vincour12112+0200
J. Oleksiak16022-51400
A. Rome12022-1800
M. Fraser3101+1000
C. Sceviour1011-1000
T. Wandell7000-2400
K. Lehtonen2412-8-2566892.56.919
R. Bachman72-3-0231424.27.838
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