Minnesota Wild vs. Dallas Stars Pick & Prediction JANUARY 8th 2024

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Minnesota’s Marc-Andre Fleury can take over sole possession of second place in NHL history for career wins by a goalie when the Wild host the Dallas Stars on Monday night in Saint Paul, Minn.

Fleury posted his 551st win in a 4-3 overtime victory at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, moving into a tie with Patrick Roy for the second-most wins.

Martin Brodeur sits at No. 1 with 691 regular-season victories from 1991-2015.

“It’ll be nice to get one more,” said Fleury, who is 551-323-93 since debuting for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2003-04.

Fleury did not practice on Sunday, an indication the 39-year-old could be resting up for Monday’s start.

The Wild ended a four-game losing streak with the win against the Blue Jackets and Fleury contributed 25 saves in the victory.

“Obviously, catching Patrick is an honor, a guy I looked up to growing up,” Fleury said. “In the moment, I was happy to get the win here for the boys.”

Fleury recently became just the fourth NHL goalie to play 1,000 games.

Blue Jackets coach Pascal Vincent coached Fleury at the junior level and said he’s the same player he was 25 years ago.

“His passion for the game, his character, he’s a great teammate, talented, fast, quick, his hockey sense,” Vincent said. “He’s going right to the Hall of Fame. Am I surprised? No, I’m not.”

The Wild also continue to receive solid production from rookies Brock Faber and Marco Rossi.

Faber had three assists against the Blue Jackets to give the defenseman 17 on the season. Rossi scored his 12th goal of the season in overtime to go along with 12 assists.

“It’s nice to see two young guys like that come in and be real impact players and make the difference in the game,” Wild coach John Hynes said.

Minnesota forward Mats Zuccarello returned against Columbus after missing nine games with an upper-body injury. He contributed an assist to give him 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in his past 16 games.

The Dallas Stars will be trying to end their first three-game losing streak of the season when they face the Wild.

Dallas most recently fell to the Nashville Predators 4-3 on Saturday, battling back from an early two-goal deficit but ultimately giving up two more goals in the third period.

“We just have to keep battling,” Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said. “We’ve got to find a way. These goaltenders that we’re playing seem to be coming up with some big saves.”

Dallas has allowed 13 goals in their three-game skid.

“We’re never worried about scoring goals in here. It’s about how we’re defending,” Stars forward Tyler Seguin said. “I think when you’re talking about defense, you’re usually talking about more mental (fatigue) than physical. I think being tired is an excuse. We’re professional athletes here. It’s about that mindset of stopping up pucks and trusting each other, where your job is and where your rotations are.”

Goaltending has also played a factor in the recent skid by the Stars.

Scott Wedgewood has started the past 11 games while Jake Oettinger has been sidelined with a lower-body injury. Wedgewood went 6-1-1 in the first eight games but is 0-2-1 in the past three.

“Wedgy is battling for us,” DeBoer said. “He’s probably running out of gas — we’ve asked a lot of him.”

Oettinger has been practicing recently and appears close to returning to the lineup.

“I’m itching to get back with this team,” Oettinger said after the morning skate on Saturday. “I’m dying to try to help this team win again.”

–Field Level Media

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