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Friday, February 24, 2012
Stars-Wild Preview

By Mark Stepneski


Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars
Friday February 24
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (31-26-4) rallied for a 3-1 victory in Chicago Thursday, scoring three times in the third period to overcome a 1-0 deficit. Steve Ott, Michael Ryder and Loui Eriksson scored for the Stars, who have won two straight.

“We know that we didn’t have many shots generated going into the third. We were still in the game, we just had to make sure that we got more pucks to the net and stepped our game up,” said Ryder. “We knew we had to play a hard 20 and we did that. We threw pucks at the net and got some traffic.”

Richard Bachman stopped 26 shots for the Stars, who moved into eighth place in the Western Conference with the win.

Kari Lehtonen will start in goal for the Stars on Friday.

Injuries:  C Jamie Benn (leg) is doubtful. C Jake Dowell (finger) and LW Brenden Morrow (neck/shoulder) are out.

About the Wild

The Wild (27-24-9) won their second straight game, opening a two-game road trip with a 3-2 shootout victory at Florida on Thursday. Niklas Backstrom had 41 saves and was 2-2 in the shootout for the Wild, who are three points out of a playoff spot with a game in hand.

“It was nice to get that extra point,” said Wild forward Matt Cullen, who scored in regulation and in the shootout. “We battled really hard. Every point is at a premium right now. That was so important for us to get both points.”

The Wild won consecutive games for the first time since January 21-24.

Injuries: C Mikko Koivu (undisclosed), G Josh Harding (lower body), ), D Clayton Stoner (lower body), D Mike Lundin (lower body), RW Carson McMillan (lower body), RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion), RW Jarod Palmer (concussion) and LW Guillaume Latendresse (concussion) are out.

Series notes

*This is the third of four meetings between the two teams.

*The Stars are 1-1-0 in the season series.

*The Wild are 1-0-1.

*January 21, at Minnesota: Wild 5, Stars 2
*February 4, at Dallas: Stars 2, Wild 1 (SO)

*The Stars have won 15 straight home games against the Wild.

*The last time Minnesota won in Dallas was March 21, 2003.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 0-9-2 in second games of back-to-backs this season.

*The Wild are 4-1-2 in the second games of back-to-backs this season.

*The Stars will be looking for their first three-game winning streak since Dec ember 10-15.

*The Wild haven’t won more than two games in row since a seven-game winning streak from November 28-December 10.

*The Stars have had two power plays over the last three games.

*Minnesota has scored on the power play in five of its last seven games.

*The Stars are 14-15 on the penalty kill over the last five games.

*Stars forward Michael Ryder has five goals in the last eight games.