Tonight the Wild try to get back-back wins for the first time in nearly two months when they visit the Stars. Minnesota has gotten the best of Dallas in all three meetings this season winning; 4-1, 2-1 and 5-4. Despite being towards the bottom of the Central division for most of the season, Dallas has been a much better team lately winning eight of their last ten. Minnesota has earned points in 10 of 11 games against Central Division teams this season (7-1-3). The division has arguably been the most competitive in the NHL. Hell, the Wild are just two points out from being int he basement. But December is behind us and this is where the winning starts (right?).
Niklas Backstrom doesnt have the best career numbers against Dallas and with Darcy Kuemper playing better it'll be Kuemper getting the nod tonight. Kuemper is 4-2-0 with a 2.65 GAA and a .921 SV% in six starts against Dallas. Fan favorite Thomas Vanek is scheduled to play in his 700th career game Saturday. Vanek has been shuffled in and out of a top 6 role but has nine points (4-5=9) in his last 11 games and still ranks third on the Wild with 23 points
but he doesnt score enough. In case you missed it, Vanek's pass to (angry) Mikko Koivu last night was insane.
Jason Zucker traveled to Dallas and it sounds like he'll be able to dress tonight for the first time since December 23rd. Check back at 6:45 for the gamethread and go Wild.