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Wild - Stars Series Tale of the Tape!

Looking for the quick takes and deep cuts on the Wild and the Stars? Take a look at our series preview, in a new, bite-sized format!

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

We're less than 3 hours away from puck drop between the Minnesota Wild and the Dallas Stars. With many writers at the Hockey Wilderness submitting their takes on the series and putting in a ton of excellent work to flesh out what to look for (and what not to look for), there's only so much that we can say before these teams square off.

With that said, let's take a look at how these teams matched up during the regular season against one another and in the regular season at large.

As if you hadn't already noticed, the Wild did not fare particularly well against the Stars this season, sporting a dismal 1-3-1 record against their divisional foe. Destroyer of OT Dreams John Klingberg proved to be an offensive foil for Minnesota's conservative blueline, shutting down breakouts and closing out games with clutch performances.

At the same time, the Wild have a tiny ray of hope in their high-danger scoring chances stat, where they somehow eked out an extra chance or two at 5v5 against the more offensively-aligned Stars team. They'll look to that as well as a generally better save percentage to get them off on the right foot tonight.

The most telling stat for me here is the edge Dallas sports in the shot department. If the Wild can't slow down Dallas' churning O-zone play, they won't have a hope in the series. Fortunately for the Wild, they have the defensive tools they've needed against opponents during the regular season to take the load off Devan Dubnyk's back. Whether they can find that same type of shut-down defense in this series is doubtful, but at a certain point that's what you have to hope for.

In terms of their regular-season play, the 2015-16 season was pretty kind to the Stars, whose offense exploded. Bolstered by steady, if unimpressive, goaltending, they were able to rock opponents early on and jumped out to a huge lead in the Central. Here's a more in-depth look into what the two teams' numbers tell us.

Dallas' basic performance numbers look great, and the Wild's, by comparison, are poor. Nevertheless, the Wild's goals against and save % numbers are solid and could give hope that they'll be able to steal a game or two in the series.

Where things really come apart is in the underlying numbers. Dallas has built their 50-win season on the back of strong possession numbers that bode well given the historic trends of recent Cup champions. The Wild, on the other hand, have no such luxury, which could spell trouble against a team who thrives on playing with the puck and creating opportunities out of nothing.

What do you think is the most telling stat? How do the Wild and the Stars matchup? Let me know below and join the conversation!