After splitting their two games in California after the All-Star break, the Dallas Stars are set to return to friendly confines tonight as they host the Minnesota Wild at the AAC. Tonight is the first of two at home before the team goes back on the road for another back-to-back scenario starting Thursday in Columbus. While the Stars kicked off their return to the ice this week with that big 6-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks, they barely showed up Thursday in the 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Now the Stars will host two teams in the Wild and Coyotes that they are fighting for the last playoff spot. The Wild blew a 4-1 lead against Nashville on Tuesday but bounced back with a 1-0 win over the Avalanche in their last effort. Currently Minnesota only sits three points above the Stars in the Western Conference standings.
Brenden Morrow will be out of the lineup again for the Stars, as the team put the captain on IR last night. This is Morrow’s third time on injured reserve this season, and the word from the team is that miss at least the next three games, meaning he probably won’t return for at least a week to even practicing. Morrow missed the last game before the break with a “neck/shoulder” issue (something we have heard a few times before with him), but tried to play the last two games. But in those two games he didn’t register a point or even a shot on goal. In his place Tomas Vincour has been called back up to the team. Vincour is third in scoring goals down with the Texas Stars, despite spending about a third of the season thus far up with the big team. But in 18 games he only has one goal and two assists with Dallas. Minnesota is still without centers Mikko Koivu and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, and winger Guillaume Latendresse is out as well.
The game starts at 7:00 PM tonight, but be sure to show up early or turn the dials over to the pregame show. The ceremony honoring Ed Belfour and his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. GM and former teammate Joe Nieuwendyk is going to be part of the festivities along with quite a few franchise greats that played alongside the Eagle, while Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh will be the emcees. Being a Saturday night game, the television broadcast will be on TXA-21 locally.
- The Wild won the first meeting in Minnesota 5-2 on January 21st.
- The Stars have a 14-game winning streak over the Wild in Dallas. It is the longest such streak in the NHL right now.
- Dallas sits three points behind Minnesota, but the Wild have played one more game.