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Minnesota Wild vs. Dallas Stars: Preview and Gamethread 1

The Wild interrupt my Pokèmon Y playing with some dumb hockey game at 7 PM tonight, so they better win, or else.

Hannah Foslien

Game Five


XCel Energy Center @ 7:00 PM
Radio: KFAN 100.3 FM; Listen on

The Wild finally got their first win out of the way on Thursday night, not only dispatching the Winnipeg Jets, but doing so without the benefit of an overtime, depriving a divisional rival of a valuable point.

The Wild are hoping for the same result tonight, as the Dallas Stars head to the (Not Pokèmon) X for their first meeting as Central Division rivals. Dallas made some major changes to their lineup in the offseason, sending out so-underrated-he-may-be-overrated Loui Eriksson for Tyler "I'm-on-my-second-team-cuz-of-partying-and-Twitter" Seguin. At a glance, it seems to be working out OK, through three games, anyway. They're 2-1, and their big acquisition in Seguin broke out in a huge way in Winnipeg with two goals and two assists. Much like the Wild, the Stars have also been noticed early for their possession with the score being close.

However, they do have weaknesses that can be exploited. The Stars played last night, so perhaps aren't so rested. They are also not starting Kari Lehtonen because of injury/back-to-back-games, and will be starting backup netminderDan Ellis instead. And thus far, only the horrible Buffalo Sabres have allowed more shots per game than Dallas' 36.3. We'll see if the Wild can capitalize on those things.

As for the Wild, their lineup will not change for tonight, as Niklas Backstrom is still day-to-day with a knee injury, and Mike Yeo doesn't like to shake things up after wins. Josh Harding will be in net for the Wild, and Marco Scandella (along with Nate Prosser) will be the scratches on defense tonight.

Here are the lineups for tonight:

Minnesota Wild
Dallas Stars

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Nino Niederreiter
Dany Heatley - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville
Matt Cooke - Kyle Brodziak - Justin Fontaine
Stephane Veilleux - Zenon Konopka - Torrey Mitchell

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin
Keith Ballard- Jared Spurgeon
Mathew Dumba - Clayton Stoner

Josh Harding - Darcy Kuemper

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Rich Peverley
Ray Whitney - Cody Eakin - Alex Chiasson
Antoine Roussel - Shawn Horcoff - Erik Cole
Ryan Garbutt - Vernon Fiddler - Valeri Nichushkin

Stephane Robidas - Brenden Dillon
Trevor Daley - Jordie Benn
Alex Goligoski - Sergei Gonchar

Dan Ellis - Jack Campbell

Five Questions

1. Through 4 games, the Wild are solidly in the top-5 in just about every possession stat. Is this going to continue, or is it a small-sample fluke? And if it continues, do the Wild get the goals to show for it, therefore creating #DanEllisProblems?

2. Mathew Dumba had a good game against Winnipeg Thursday. Will he continue to impress enough to keep him with the Wild?

3. Can Dany Heatley shut doubters like me up tonight?

4. While the Power Play has been great, and the Penalty Kill has been rough. Will the Wild stay out of the box and correct their special teams issues?

5. Will the Wild's young guns (Granlund, Niederreiter, Brodin, Dumba) outshine Dallas' (Seguin, Nichushkin, Chaisson, Dillon)?