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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
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
Final
WAS 3
PHI 5
Final
TOR 6
ATL 5
Final
DET 3
CWS 12
Final
MIN 2
CLE 4
Final
STL 5
CIN 2
Final
CHC 7
SDP 6
Final
BOS 1
BAL 4
Final
PIT 6
MIL 2
Final
HOU 4
ANA 0
Final
NYM 5
MIA 4
Final
TAM 0
NYY 9
Final
KAN 0
OAK 5
Final
SFG 4
ARI 1
Final
LOS 6
COL 3
Final
SEA 3
TEX 1
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
MIA
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
NYY
 
1:35pm Today
BOS
BAL
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
WAS
PHI
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
ANA
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
OAK
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
LOS
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
TEX
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
TOR 86
WAS 93
Final
GSW 106
NOP 99
Final
CHI 103
MIL 91
Final
HOU 118
DAL 108
3:00pm Today
CLE
BOS
 
5:30pm Tonight
ATL
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
POR
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
SAN
 
Final
TAM 5
DET 1
Final
STL 4
MIN 1
Final
NYR 3
PIT 4
3rd
ANA 0
WIN 1
 
12:00pm Today
NYI
WAS
 
3:00pm Today
CHI
NAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
MON
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
VAN
 
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR