Dallas Stars vs Minnesota Wild
Sunday Dec. 4: 2:00pm CT: @ American Airlines Center: Dallas, Texas
How to Watch: Bally Sports Southwest, NHL Network
The Dallas Stars are coming off back-to-back complete performances.
In their last two games, they defeated the St. Louis Blues on the road and the Anaheim Ducks at home. In those games, Dallas outscored the opponent 9-1. Jason Robertson scored four goals. Scott Wedgewood and Jake Oettinger recorded one shutout and a combined .980 save percentage. You can say that things have gone well.
The importance of these performances cannot be overstated. Although Dallas has stayed atop their division and even went seven games straight recording a point, their play had dipped after the hot start. The last two games brought things back to what we saw early in the season.
“Our game for whatever reason was a little off the last week or two,” Joe Pavelski said. “It was a good win the other night in St. Louis. We wanted to be able to stack that one on top. It’s as simple as that. It was good to see the guys come out and have a lot of detail to our game.”
There are quite a few excellent performances to point out this season in Dallas.
Jason Robertson leads the NHL with 22 goals. Miro Heiskanen is off to his best start, Joe Pavelski, Jamie Benn, and Roope Hintz are on pace for career highs. Wyatt Johnston leads all players under 20 with seven goals. And Oettinger has been a rock in the net.
The excellent play and ability to collect points has boosted Dallas into unknown territory: sitting in first place in the very competitive Central Division.
In every season since 2015-16, the Stars have chased a playoff spot all the way to the end of the season. A few wins here have gotten them in, while a few tough streaks have put them on the outside looking in.
But even with all of the success, Dallas remains motivated and aware that a lot can change throughout an 82-game season.
“Well, we’re not fooling ourselves that we’ve made the playoffs,” Stars General Manager Jim Nill said. “We have a long way to go yet and a lot can happen. We just have to give ourselves the best chance every night to try and grab points, and we’ve done that so far.”
Starting goaltender: Not confirmed. But with the two days off between games, expect Jake Oettinger to start his second straight game. He is coming off a 31-save shutout against the Ducks on Thursday.
Stars Projected Lines
- Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz – Joe Pavelski
- Mason Marchment – Radek Faksa – Tyler Seguin
- Jamie Benn – Wyatt Johnston – Ty Dellandrea
- Joel Kiviranta – Luke Glendening – Denis Gurianov
- Ryan Suter – Miro Heiskanen
- Joel Hanley – Colin Miller
- Esa Lindell – Jani Hakanpaa
- Jake Oettinger
- Scott Wedgewood
Wild Scouting Report
The Minnesota Wild were expected to be right up near the top of the Division but have underachieved with an 12-9-2 record so far this season.
The Wild will come into Dallas on the second day of a back-to-back after they took down the Anaheim Ducks in a shootout on Saturday afternoon in Minnesota. It is one of the rare back-to-back matinees that Dallas went through earlier this season and it should mean that Dallas will be the far more rested team on Sunday.
Kirill Kaprizov (15G, 16A) and Mats Zuccarello (8G, 15A) have paced the Wild all season.
If he is in the lineup, it will be the Stars first look at Ryan Reaves within their division since he was a member of the St. Louis Blues.
— Sam Nestler (@samnestler) December 3, 2022
He Said It
“I had no problem with us deserving an extra penalty there, and I have no problem with the penalty,” Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said of the misconduct given to Mason Marchment on Thursday. “Someone took a run at Wyatt [Johnston], and our group has stuck up for each other in those situations all year. And it’s been someone different every time. That team toughness element is good.”