(Sports Network) – Though it has been a tight series, the Dallas Stars have usually come out on top when facing the Minnesota Wild.
Riding a season-best five-game winning streak, the Stars aim for their 13th straight home win over the Wild in tonight’s clash at American Airlines Center.
Dallas has won three straight, eight of 10 and nine of its last 12 versus Minnesota as 24 of the last 26 meetings between the clubs have been decided by two goals or less.
The Stars have been especially tough at home when facing the Wild, who haven’t recorded a victory in Dallas since a 3-2 overtime victory on March 21, 2003. That marks their lone victory in the last 15 played between the teams in Dallas.
The Stars are on their longest winning streak since opening the season 4-0 and are coming off a big 2-1 victory over Washington on Thursday. Brandon Segal scored the game-winning goal just 20 seconds after the Capitals tied it and Washington had a potential game-winning goal of its own waived off with seven seconds left due to goaltender interference.
Mike Ribeiro also scored and backup goaltender Andrew Raycroft made 37 saves in his fourth start of the season for the Stars, who are 7-0-1 in their last eight at home and haven’t won six in a row overall since a seven-game burst from Jan. 29-Feb. 11, 2008.
“It says a lot about our group,” Stars head coach Marc Crawford said of the big win. “We got outstanding performances from a lot of people.”
Despite Raycroft’s solid outing, Kari Lehtonen should get the start in net tonight and he is 1-2-0 with a 3.94 goals-against average in his career versus the Wild.
Ribeiro has two goals and three assists over a five-game point streak and has a pair of goals and 14 assists in 18 career games versus the Wild.
Minnesota brings a season-worst four-game losing streak into this game, dropping a 3-2 shootout test to Calgary last night. Niklas Backstrom made 30 saves, but was beaten by the Flames’ Rene Bourque on a wrister in the shootout’s final round.
Martin Havlat had a goal and an assist to give him five tallies and 16 points in his last 11 games, but Minnesota went 0-for-4 on the power play and has scored just once in its last 26 man-advantage opportunities.
“We played a much better overall game than we did last time we faced them,” Havlat said. “We got one point tonight and that’s important.”
Minnesota hasn’t lost five straight since Oct. 8-17, 2009 and is expected to get forward Chuck Kobasew back into the lineup for the first time in 15 games because of a groin injury and family situation.