Darcy Kuemper gets the start for a second consecutive night here in Dallas this evening. Kuemper stopped 34 of 35 shots last night at home in a win over Toronto.
This is Kuemper's third career start and first this season in a second of a back-to-back. He is 1-1 with a 2.88 goals-against average and .891 save percentage.
The Stars have won three in a row and seven of eight.
Yeo explained his decision by saying that Kuemper has played well in this building (2-0 this season and a huge third period last game after surrendering a 3-0 lead) "and we’re hoping he can do more of the same. Part of it as well with Backy coming off the sickness is we haven’t had a lot of practice time here. Didn't have a skate this morning. That factored into the decision, but more of it revolved around Kuemper really."
I'm pretty sure Backstrom wasn't able to skate this morning, and if he were to start, he would want to take shots. There's a rule that won't permit a team to skate within eight or nine hours (can't remember right now) after arriving in a city and the Wild had mechanical issues that delayed they're departure last night from MSP.
Delta had to get a new plane and the team arrived in Dallas shortly before 2 a.m. and at the team hotel at 2:45 a.m.
"That’s stuff you’ve got to deal with," Yeo said. "It’s still better than the American League and riding buses and getting in at 4 o'clock in the morning."
On an aside, a couple players told me it was a white-knuckle flight. Bad storms in the area and in the middle of the flight last night. "It was scary," Jason Pominville said.
As Yeo joked, "But we landed. We're OK."
Jason Zucker, after missing four games with the stomach bug, will return to the lineup. Stu Bickel, who played in the other two wins at Dallas, will play forward. Justin Fontaine and Tyler Graovac will come out.
I never asked the lines, but Yeo is obviously keeping the first (Parise-Koivu-Pominville) and third lines (Nino-Haula-Coyle) intact, so we'll see the second and fourth lines in warmup. Zucker makes sense to slide into Line 2 with Kyle Brodziak and Thomas Vanek, but Yeo may want to ease him in and start him on the fourth line. So perhaps Matt Cooke or Ryan Carter will start on the Brodziak-Vanek line.