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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 18th (All times Eastern)

Dallas Stars (21-19-7) at Minnesota Wild (26-19-5), 9 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Wild look to continue a January surge on Saturday night in the first of two meetings with the Dallas Stars in four days.

The Wild have won six of eight to begin the month after closing December with six straight regulation losses. This current run has Minnesota tied with the Vancouver Canucks for seventh place in the Western Conference.

With 49 points, the Stars have fallen eight points behind the Wild and Canucks thanks to seven losses in their last eight games.

Minnesota used a three-goal barrage to knock off the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Thursday. Defenseman Nate Prosser got the run started with 3:15 to play in the second period, netting his first goal in almost two years, and Justin Fontaine made it a two-goal Wild edge with 1:03 to go in the frame.

Jason Zucker added the exclamation point by scoring eight seconds into the third period.

Wild coach Mike Yeo praised Prosser, who was playing in his 24th game of the season after being a healthy scratch for most of December and scored his first goals since Feb. 7, 2012.

"Prosser is an unbelievable professional," said Yeo. "There's no question he's made the absolute most of this opportunity. He's a guy that wins."

Jason Pominville, held without a goal in six straight, scored his 19th tally of the season and also had an assist, while Darcy Kuemper made 20 saves in his third straight start. Kuemper will get the call again on Saturday in his first career outing against Dallas.

Following this contest, the Wild are idle until visiting the Stars on Tuesday while Dallas also visits Nashville the day before hosting Minnesota.

The Stars hope to have built some momentum by then. They snapped a six-game losing streak with a win over Edmonton on Tuesday, but then lost a 4-2 decision to the visiting Boston Bruins on Thursday. Five of the six goals scored in that loss came in the third period.

Jamie Benn and Erik Cole scored for the Stars, while former Bruin Tyler Seguin assisted on both goals. Kari Lehtonen gave up three goals on 40 shots in the loss.

"It was a mixed bag for me with pockets of good plays," said Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff. "We got some breaks that could have allowed us to win and we made some mistakes that gave them really good opportunities. We lost some wall battles that led to a couple goals and Boston came out tonight really determined."

Both defenseman Sergei Gonchar (lower body) and forward Ray Whitney (upper body) are questionable for this game, though blueliner Aaron Rome may be able to return from a lower-body ailment that has kept him out of the past three games.

The Stars lost a 5-1 decision in Minnesota on Oct. 12 in the first of four meetings this season, their third setback in the last four encounters in this series.

The Wild have won four of their past five at home versus the Stars.

01/18 11:11:45 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1st
SFG 0
KAN 0
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
 
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
 
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
 
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
 
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
 
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
 
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
 
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
 
4th
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
3rd
WASU 16
ARZ 38
 
2nd
CLEM 3
SYR 3
 
Half
LAMON 13
TXST 0
 
2nd
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 17
 
2nd
COLST 24
WYO 3
 
2nd
LSU 0
MISS 7
 
1st
TENN 0
ALA 20
 
2nd
AUB 7
SCAR 7
 
1st
PSU 0
OSU 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
2nd
TOR 0
BOS 1
 
2nd
NYI 3
DAL 3
 
2nd
PHI 0
DET 1
 
2nd
OTT 0
NJD 0
 
2nd
MON 1
NYR 1
 
1st
STL 0
CHI 1
 
1st
NAS 0
PIT 1
 
1st
MIN 0
TAM 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14