Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild Pick & Prediction JANUARY 10th 2024

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The Dallas Stars can complete a season sweep of the visiting Minnesota Wild when they meet on Wednesday night for the second time in three days.

Dallas beat Minnesota 4-0 on Monday night behind 23 saves from rookie Matt Murray, who was making his season debut and just his fourth NHL start.

The Wild have been outscored 12-3 in their first two meetings against the Stars.

“We’ve got to be better next time we play them,” Minnesota defenseman Brock Faber said.

The Stars are expecting the Wild to bring their best effort on Wednesday night.

“For sure, they want to bounce back,” Dallas center Radek Faksa said. “The fans weren’t very happy, so they will be frustrated and we expect a big jump from them.”

The Wild have been without leading scorer Kirill Kaprizov the past five games because of an upper-body injury. They’re also missing goalie Filip Gustavsson and defenseman Jared Spurgeon because of lower-body injuries.

None of the three are expected back against Dallas.

The Stars are missing some key personnel as well.

No. 1 goalie Jake Oettinger has been sidelined since Dec. 15 with a lower-body injury and top defenseman Miro Heiskanen is week-to-week after sustaining a knee injury against the Colorado Avalanche last Thursday.

“It doesn’t matter who’s in and out for our lineup,” Faber said. “It doesn’t matter who’s in and out for their lineup. We have to be better, and that was a horrible showing (on Monday). Shot ourselves in the foot.”

The Wild gave up two short-handed goals in the loss to the Stars on Monday and went 0-for-6 on the power play en route to losing for the fifth time in the past six games.

“It’s unacceptable against a rival,” Faber said. “It’s unacceptable against any team in this league. You don’t win hockey games giving up two short-handed goals, and one of those falls on my shoulders, obviously. It’s frustrating.”

The performance of special teams has been the main factor in the first two meetings between the Stars and Wild. Dallas is 6-for-10 on the power play while Minnesota is 1-for-11, allowing four total short-handed goals.

“It’s hard enough to win in this league,” Wild coach John Hynes said. “You can’t have those situations where you not only don’t execute, you give up goals.”

Minnesota also continues to come up on the wrong side of close games more often than not.

The Wild have the eighth-worst winning percentage in the NHL in one-goal games (41.2), while Dallas has the ninth-best (56.5).

“We got to learn to play in these tight games, and learn to shut teams down when it’s a 1-0 hockey game,” Minnesota forward Pat Maroon said.

The penalty-kill unit for Dallas, which is ranked fourth-best in the NHL at 85.7 percent, is a big part of its overall success this season.

“We’ve got a lot of guys who buy into it,” Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said. “Your goaltender is always your best penalty killer, but we’ve got a group of guys that are built back there to kill penalties and then when you add players like Roope Hintz and (Tyler) Seguin and Sam Steel, who have an offensive element, it makes you dangerous going the other way.”

–Field Level Media

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