DALLAS – As part of John Torchetti’s Game 2 shake-up, Mikael Granlund moved from second-line center to first-line left wing. The result was seven shots … and no goals in a 2-1 Game 2 Wild loss.
In a scoreless first period, Granlund failed to cash in on three glorious chances.
Despite a career-high 13 goals and 160 shots this season, Granlund had a tendency all season to not pull the trigger fast enough. His first two chances Saturday, Granlund tried to settle the puck instead of one-timing it, and it cost him. The third chance, maybe as a result of the first two, Granlund tried to rush a Jared Spurgeon-fed one-timer and he muffed it left with half the cage open.
“I’ve got to put the puck in the net with those chances. That’s the bottom line,” Granlund said.
Granlund had a chance to make amends in the second. With the Wild down 1-0, he led a 3-on-1 shorthanded break with Chris Porter and Ryan Suter. Granlund skated himself into a position where he couldn’t execute a pass or a shot, and yet another golden opportunity was wasted.
“I was thinking shot, but then I got a bad angle and then I tried to pass it,” he said. “I need to make a better play.”
Torchetti also moved Charlie Coyle to center. He had two shots and didn’t score for a 20th straight game (26 shots in that span).
“He’s got to get a greasy goal, and that will get his game going,” Torchettisaid.
Haula back in lineup
After missing Game 1 because a lower-body injury, center Erik Haula returned and pivoted Nino Niederreiter and Jason Pominville.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff said the Stars needed to be wary of Haula, who set up Niederreiter for a breakaway seconds into the game.
“He’s one guy that has thrived under the [coaching] change,” Ruff said. “I know that previous to that, he was a killer to us. It seemed like he’d get one breakaway or one shorthanded goal, he almost scored every night against us. We’re well aware of his speed and what he can do.”
Roussel an effective pest
Ruff loved agitator Antoine Roussel’s game Saturday, and not just because of a fluky goal.
“He’s just going out and trying to work as hard as he possibly can,” Ruff said. “He doesn’t change his game, he’s on the body. He’s hounding pucks, in some way he got rewarded for all the work he’s done. The puck goes off him, goes in. It’s what playoffs is about. Some guys can agitate some other guys. He just played a real hard game tonight.”
Star center Tyler Seguin returned to the Dallas lineup after missing nearly a month because of an Achilles’ tendon injury. Seguin said after Saturday’s morning skate that he felt ready, but it was a coach’s decision whether he played.
He had one shot in 15:40 of ice time.
• After being absent from Friday’s practice, Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk started Game 2.
“It’s that time of the year, so you want to take some breaks when you can, and [Friday] was one of those days,” Dubnyk said.
• It sounds as if injured Zach Parise is progressing off the ice, although it’s still uncertain whether he’ll be able to return from a back injury.
“He’s just going to be day-by-day as we go along,” Torchetti said.