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Minnesota Wild @ Dallas Stars: Game 52

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Minnesota Wild (25-19-7) at Dallas Stars (26-22-2)

American Airlines Center @ 7:00 PM CSTTelevision: FSN
Listen Live at: KFAN (100.3) or Wild.com

For the Dallas perspective, check out Defending Big D

Minnesota Wild Dallas Stars

Nick Johnson - Kyle Brodziak - Dany Heatley
Cal Clutterbuck - Matt Cullen - Devin Setoguchi
Darroll Powe - Erik Christensen - Carson McMillan
Jed Ortmeyer - Warren Peters - Brad Staubitz

Nick Schultz - Jared Spurgeon
Justin Falk - Nate Prosser
Marek Zidlicky - Greg Zanon

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding

Steve Ott - Jordie Benn - Loui Eriksson
Eric Nystrom - Mike Ribeiro - Michael Ryder
Tomas Vincour - Vernon Fiddler - Radek Dvorak
Jake Dowell - Tom Wandell - Adam Burish

Sheldon Souray - Stephane Robidas
Nicklas Grossman - Trevor Daley
Alex Goligoski - Philip Larsen

Kari Lehtonen
Richard Bachman

The Wild haven't won in Dallas since March of 2003. Does that mean anything going into tonight's game? The players will tell you know, the stat folks will try to tell you it doesn't matter. Of course, both would be dead wrong. There is a reason why the Wild haven't won in Dallas in nine years, even though the Stars have not always been the greatest team during that stretch.

Probably pure coincidence.

Tonight begins the Erik Christensen era for the Wild. He will slot in on the third line, maybe getting some power play time should the occasion arise. There is not a ton of confidence from his former fan base, but the Wild side of coin seem to be reserving judgment. Fans here have burned by trades too many times to get overly excited by them in the early goings. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

The Stars have a cobbled together roster that has cost them in the standings as of late. Sound familiar to anyone? They still certainly have the capacity to put a hurting on any team in the NHL, but they certainly aren't the glory days anymore. A cursory glance at the roster says the Wild, should they play their game, have a good chance to win.

History, of course, says otherwise.

Looks like Zidlicky gets his shot to return to the lineup. How he responds will be an excellent indication of his ability to handle adversity. You can bet your life if he goes out with a -3 tonight, he doesn't see the ice for a month. Or maybe that's just me.

It would be a lie to say there is a great deal of confidence exuding from this side of the computer screen. Stranger things have happened, but it is tough to beat a curse.

Enjoy the game

Five Questions:

  1. How does Christensen look in his first game in a Wild sweater?
  2. Can Backstrom follow up his shutout with another solid performance?
  3. Can the curse be beaten?
  4. How does Zidlicky look in his return from the dog house?
  5. If a game happens on a Saturday night, in Dallas, and no one watches, does it still count?
Enjoy the Wild's warm up songs before the game: