Gameday preview: Dallas at Wild

  • Updated: January 17, 2014 - 9:14 PM

wild gameday

8 P.M. VS. DALLAS • XCEL ENERGY CENTER • FSN, 100.3 FM

Preview: The Wild has won six of eight games in January. The Stars are in a big funk. They are 1-7 this month and have sunk to 10th in the West, eight points behind the Wild. This is the first of a home-and-home that will be completed in Dallas on Tuesday. The Wild is 13-9-2 all-time vs. Dallas at home, including a 5-1 victory on Oct. 12.

Players to watch: D Nate Prosser, who hails from Hockey Day Minnesota’s host city, Elk River, scored the winning goal in Tuesday’s victory over Edmonton and is a plus-7 and averaging 17 minutes, 19 seconds a night in place of injured D Jared Spurgeon. G Darcy Kuemper will make his fourth consecutive start. He is 3-1 since Jan. 7 with a 1.23 goals-against average and .957 save percentage. RW Justin Fontaine has 12 goals, tied for fourth among NHL rookies. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Friday he plans to split up first-line staples Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn against the Wild. Seguin ranks 19th in the NHL with 44 points; Benn ranks 24th with 40 points.

Numbers: The Wild has scored four or more goals in seven of the past 11 games, matching the amount it did so in the first 39 games. … The Stars allow exactly three goals per game, fifth worst in the NHL. Their power play ranks 29th at 13.1 percent.

Injuries: The Wild’s Spurgeon (foot), C Mikko Koivu (ankle) and LW Zach Parise (foot) are out. G Josh Harding (illness) has practiced four days in a row, as has Parise. Stars D Aaron Rome (lower body) is expected to return. D Sergei Gonchar (lower body) and LW Ray Whitney (upper body) are questionable. D Stephane Robidas (broken leg) is out.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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