DALLAS – The Wild starts a two-game road trip Tuesday in Dallas in a position it’s rarely been in this season.
With all its forwards available for selection.
Wingers Jordan Greenway and Kevin Fiala are back on the ice with the team after recent injuries, but only Greenway will crack the lineup against the Stars.
Fiala will be scratched for the second time this season after missing the previous three games with a lower-body injury.
“We expect more from him,” coach Bruce Boudreau said of Fiala, who has one assist in seven games. “He’s a guy that we’re counting on. He’s coming off an injury but in the whole scheme of things, we need him to be one of our most offensive players, power play guy and everything else. So far it hasn’t worked but I think the message has gotten through, and he’ll be back in the lineup really soon because we could use the offense. There’s no doubt about it.”
Greenway returns after sitting out the last two games following a hit from Edmonton’s Josh Archibald that put him in concussion protocol, and Devan Dubnyk will back up Alex Stalock – which is also his first appearance since that Oilers game a week ago when he was knocked on his back following a collision in the crease.
And in Boudreau’s mind, how the Wild defends will be key to improving its road record from its current 1-6 standing.
“We have to allow fewer goals,” he said. “The one game we allowed under two goals, we won. The other six games I think we’re averaging four or five goals against every night. You allow four or five goals against on the road, you’re not going to win games.”
Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Mats Zuccarello
Zach Parise-Joel Eriksson Ek-Luke Kunin
Marcus Foligno-Mikko Koivu-Ryan Hartman
Ryan Donato-Victor Rask-Jordan Greenway
Ryan Suter- Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Carson Soucy-Brad Hunt
26: Goals given up by the Wild on the road this season.
99: Career assists for defenseman Matt Dumba.
1-3-1: Record for the Wild last season vs. the Stars.
6-5-2: Showing for the Wild in its past 13 trips to Dallas.
2: Game-winning goals this season for center Eric Staal.
About the Stars:
Dallas’ start to the season hasn’t been much better than the Wild’s. The Stars are 4-8-1, losing their first three games and then going on a four-game skid later in the month. Most recently, they were blanked 3-0 by the Penguins on home ice on Saturday. Offensive leaders Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin haven’t produced much, combining for just three goals. Goalie Ben Bishop is 3-5-1 with a 2.35 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.