Preview: The Wild has lost 15 of 17 games while struggling mightily to score goals. On Thursday, forwards Casey Wellman and David McIntyre were sent back to Houston of the AHL and four players were called up: forwards Matt Kassian, Jed Ortmeyer, Chad Rau and defenseman Nate Prosser. "We need to make some changes right now," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "We're not just going to stand around and hope things get better." Dallas had lost three of five games heading into Friday's match with Tampa Bay.
Players to watch: Wild C Matt Cullen, who played in his 1,000th NHL game vs. San Jose on Jan. 10, will be honored Saturday night. RW Nick Johnson, who scored the Wild's lone goal in Toronto, is tied for 10th among rookies in scoring with 16 points. Dallas LW Loui Eriksson had 10 points in eight games heading into Friday's game.
Numbers: The Wild's 5-3 victory in last season's final game knocked the Stars out of the playoffs.
Injuries: For the Wild, C Mikko Koivu (shoulder), RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion), LW Gillaume Latendresse (concussion) and RW Jarod Palmer (concussion) are out. For Dallas, W/C Jamie Benn (appendectomy), C Mike Ribeiro (knee) are out. D Sheldon Souray (foot) and D Philip Larsen (concussion) are questionable.