The Wild will roll out yet another new look when it hosts the Stars Thursday at Xcel Energy Center, with goalie Devan Dubnyk, captain Mikko Koivu and winger Zach Parise among those set to make their preseason debuts.
Defenseman Jared Spurgeon is also slotted to play his first game.
“It’s fun to get back into it,” Dubnyk said. “I’m excited to get in there and play a game. I don’t concern myself about outcomes. I know the things that I want to work on and the things that I need to do to get sharp on for the start of the regular season to be ready to go. The only real way to do it is in a game, so I’m excited to get a chance to get in there tonight.”
Here are both teams’ lineups, with one change. Center Justin Kloos will sub in for rookie Jordan Greenway; coach Bruce Boudreau said Greenway is sore, so the team wanted to be cautious and sit him out.
Kloos played Wednesday in Des Moines where the Wild fell 3-2 to the Blues, scoring a goal after posting a game-high nine shots in a 2-1 loss to the Jets Monday.
“I thought the first 10 minutes we weren’t very good,” Boudreau said of Wednesday’s game. “They outshot us 6-0. The next 40 minutes, I think we outshot them 22-6, and we were really good. We should have had maybe three or four goals. But in the last 10 minutes, I don’t think we played extremely well.”
What Boudreau has noticed so far during preseason action is how the pace of play has increased with each game, a trend he expects to continue.
“Even though Dallas isn’t bringing their full lineup here today, the pace is going to be higher than last night’s pace,” he said. “So we’ll see how it works out.”