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Wilderness Walk: Backs Against the Wall Edition

In a 2-0 hole and headed for home ice, the Wild face their first challenge with their backs against the wall in a must-win against the stars at the X tonight

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Wild will get their third postseason crack at the Stars tonight and their first on home ice.  In what isn't technically a must-win game, the Wild already find their backs against the wall two games into the series, but this is when they play their best hockey.   While the Wild have set themselves to weather the Dallas storm over the opening period of the firs two games, it will be the Wild who must set the pace and put the Stars on their heels in the opening frame tonight.  Of course, the well-coached team from Dallas will be prepared for this, but the Wild must dictate the pace and flow of this game if they want a chance to remain relevant in this series.

Coming home presents John Torchetti his first opportunity to dictate matchups and work his game plan with last change.  There are also positive signs starting to develop.  The Wild held the Stars to just one goal beyond the fluky goal off the skate of Antoine Roussel.  They broke through against Kari Lehtonen.  The team in Dallas should not be  comfortable with how game 2 turned out because they won by luck, not based on skill.  Had the Wild played that way in game 1, the complexion of this series would be very different.

Here's a look at how playoff chances are looking:

The Wild are certainly feeling the pressure.  We Walk.

Wild News

Why the most bizarre goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs counted -
It was already a night that featured perhaps the worst goal ever when controversy struck in Dallas. Should this strange goal have counted?

Two games, one goal: Wild needs to end scoring slump -
For all the schemes and plans, after all the film review and adjustments, figuring out how to beat the Dallas Stars comes down to this: Scoring goals.

Souhan: A team at risk, the Wild is searching for its soul -
Chuck Fletcher has committed serious money to underachievers. He has overrated his youngsters. On his current roster, it's hard to tell the checking lines from the scoring lines.

Minnesota Wild might add Mike Reilly to lineup
Still in search of an offensive spark, the Wild might again be making lineup changes, this time on the back end.

Love lost but not forgotten: Minnesota and the North Stars -
Though they will be cheering for the Wild in an upscale St. Paul arena, some fans will be channeling memories of the North Stars and those raucous nights at the Met Center that made them fall in love with the NHL.

Minnesota Wild need leaders to step up in Game 3
While the Wild have played their past 147 minutes of hockey without an even-strength goal, the Stars have scored even-strength goals off the skates of two of their players positioned behind the net.

Thomas Vanek's Absence Felt by Wild
The Minnesota Wild are missing Thomas Vanek in their opening round playoff series more than most are giving him credit for.

Behind Enemy Lines

Preview: Dallas Stars Have Chance to Take Commanding 3-0 Lead as Series Shifts to Minnesota - Defending Big D
What do they see from Dallas?

Dallas Stars: Heika: Antoine Roussel, Stars' French taunter, does more than just tick opposing players, fans off | SportsDay
Antoine Roussel is the French guard in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.C'mon, you know it's true.From the exaggerated gestures, to the...

Dallas Stars: Could Seguin come out of lineup for Game 3?; Ruff says Janmark will return to face Wild | SportsDay
The Tyler Seguin mystery continues, as the Stars' second leading scorer was physically taxed in his return to the lineup and could be an option to...

Off The Trail

Blues catch a couple breaks, regain home-ice advantage -
But now we have to hear Chelsea Dagger for 2 games

Smith, Rinne lead Predators to win over Ducks in Game 2 -
Craig Smith had a goal and an assist, Pekka Rinne made 27 saves and the Nashville Predators confidently claimed their second straight road victory to open their first-round series, 3-2 over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 on Sunday night.

Red Wings blank Lightning to cut series deficit - Article - TSN
Series now 2-1 in favor of Tampa Bay

Hickey scores in OT to lift Islanders past Panthers - Article - TSN
Isles up 2-1 over Panthers