Stars face Wild in search of third straight win
Posted on: 12 Nov, 2023 at 08:03 AM
Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Stars will go for their third straight victory when they visit the Minnesota Wild on Sunday evening in St. Paul, Minn.
Dallas just notched road wins against the Winnipeg Jets and the Columbus Blue Jackets in the past three days. The Stars have won nine of their first 13 games and are in first place in the Western Conference's Central Division.
Stars coach Peter DeBoer likes what he is seeing from his team as it prepares to face Minnesota. Dallas will be playing on short rest after a 3-2 win over Winnipeg on Saturday evening.
"I thought maybe (it was) our best road game of the year," DeBoer said after the victory over Winnipeg. "I liked how we started. I liked us the entire 60 minutes. I thought we were tight, we were smart with the puck, we were competitive, built a lead. That's how you want to play on the road."
Meanwhile, Minnesota is looking for better results after an underwhelming start to the season. The Wild are coming off back-to-back losses, including a 3-2 setback on Friday against the Buffalo Sabres.
Wild coach Dean Evason said his players are displaying strong effort but not getting the results on offense. As pressure mounts during games to score more goals, one or two defensive miscues can exacerbate the problems.
"They're giving it everything they can to score," Evason said. "We're getting lots of pucks on the net. We're getting quality, quality looks. They're just not going in the net right now."
The Wild's next test likely will come against Jake Oettinger in net, one night after Scott Wedgewood started for the Stars against Winnipeg.
The 24-year-old Oettinger is from Lakeville, Minn., which is about a half-hour south of St. Paul. He is 6-2-1 with a 2.10 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage this season.
In seven career starts against the Wild, Oettinger is 4-0-1 with a 2.40 GAA and a .917 save percentage.
Minnesota is expected to counter with Filip Gustavsson in net. It has been a trying start to the season for the 25-year-old from Sweden. He is 2-4-1 with a 4.64 GAA and an .872 save percentage through his first eight games.
Gustavsson has enjoyed success against the Stars in his career. In four games, he is 3-1-0 with a 1.73 GAA and a .950 save percentage.
Minnesota is 3-2-1 at home this season. Dallas is 6-1-1 on the road.
DeBoer said the Stars' current road trip, which ends with Sunday's game against divisional rival Minnesota, has been exactly what his team needed.
"We had lost two in a row there, and we wanted to come on the road and really get our game back in the right place," DeBoer said. "Despite standings or team's records, everybody's competitive at home right now. Early in the season, everyone's got belief that they can get in the playoffs and everyone's playing hard. So these are tough games to win."
--Field Level Media