Dallas Stars @ Minnesota Wild
Sunday April 10, 5 PM CT
As the great Lloyd Christmas once said “So you’re telling me there’s a chance…” The Dallas Stars (42-28-11, 95 points) will play the final game of the NHL regular season tonight against the Minnesota Wild (38-25-8, 84 points) and oh what a finale this will be. With the Detroit Red Wings win today over the Chicago Blackhawks, the Stars can (incredibly) make it into the playoffs with a regulation or overtime win over the Wild. 60 (perhaps 65) minutes of hockey will decide the playoff fates of two teams tonight.
Luckily for Dallas, it is the Wild that they are playing. Dating back to last season, the Stars have won six straight games over the Wild. The Wild are, and have been for a while, out of the playoff race and have a multitude of players that are injured and out of the game tonight. Included among the Wild wounded is Martin Havlat, their leader in goals and points.
Dallas needs to come out tonight and throw everything, plus the kitchen sink, at the Wild. They have to take the game to them and prove that they are worthy of the playoffs. Leave no doubt who’s the better team.
- Nicklas Grossman (knee) and Brian Sutherby (back) are still injured and unable to play.
- Dallas is outscoring Minnesota 12-3 in the season series. The last two meetings ended up with the Wild getting shutout. The Stars had four goals in each game.
- Kari Lehtonen has one of the shutouts and backup goalie Andrew Raycroft has the other.
- Lehtonen will make another start in this game, making it his career high 69th game played this season. He has started 22 games in a row.
- Trevor Daly has two goals and two assists, getting at least one point in each game.
- Brad Richards has no goals in the series, but he does have four assists.
- Dallas is 20-17-3 on the road and is on a four game winning streak.
- Dallas hasn’t allowed a power-play goal in five games, going 7-7 on the penalty kill.
- The Wild are 18-17-5 at home this season, fourth worst in the Western Conference. They’ve lost five of the last six games at home.
- Like the Avalanche, Minnesota has a hospital ward full of injured players. D Cam Barker (back), Nick Schultz (head), Marco Scandella (finger) RW Martin Havlat (upper body) and LW Guillaume Latendresse (lower body) are all out for this game. C John Madden (foot) and D Marek Zidlicky (hamstring) are questionable to play today.
- Mikko Koivu, the Wild’s leader in assists, has been held to one point in the season series.
- Minnesota hasn’t beaten a Western Conference playoff team since Feb. 25, a 3-2 OT win over Anaheim.
- Jose Theodore was the starting goaltender in all three games, losing all of them. He has a .870 save percentage in those games.
- Minnesota is 1 for 20 (5%) in their last three games on the power-play.
|Game 1 at Dallas (Overtime)||Dallas – 4||Minnesota – 3|
|Game 2 at Minnesota||Dallas – 4||Minnesota – 0|
|Game 3 at Dallas||Dallas – 4||Minnesota – 0|
|Shots on Goal Per Game||30.67||23.67|
|Penalty Minutes Per Game||6||8|
|Power Play||2 for 19 (15.4%)||0 for 8 (0%)|
|Last 10 Games||4-3-3||3-6-1|