wild gameday


Preview: The Stars are on fire, ending December with three victories in a row and seven victories in eight games. This is the fourth of five meetings, with the Wild winning the first three. In fact, after winning once in 20 visits to Dallas since March 2003, the Wild won two times there in November. In the last meeting, the Wild blew a 3-0 lead and needed a late goal by Thomas Vanek to force overtime before Marco Scandella’s overtime winner.

Players to watch: Stars F Tyler Seguin has seven goals and 13 points in the past 11 games and leads the NHL with 25 goals and is second with 44 points in 36 games. Seguin is tied for fourth in the NHL with four game-winning goals and shares 11th with six power play goals. Wednesday against Arizona, F Brett Ritchie made his NHL debut and scored on his first shot. F Jamie Benn is second with 11 goals and 32 points and G Kari Lehtonen is coming off his third shutout. Wild C Mikko Koivu has 23 points in 28 games against the Stars. LW Zach Parise has 22 points in 16 games.

Numbers: If G Niklas Backstrom starts, he is 1-5-3 all-time at Dallas with a 3.75 goals-against average and .868 save percentage. … The Wild is 2-0-2 in the second of back-to-backs this year.

Injuries: Wild C Mikael Granlund (wrist surgery), LW Brett Sutter (sick) and D Keith Ballard (facial fractures, concussion) are out. LW Jason Zucker (sick) is questionable. Stars RW Patrick Eaves (lower) and RW Valeri Nichushkin (groin) are out.