Alexander Shun | @alexpshun
Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com
The franchise-record eight-game homestand continues tonight for the Western Conference leading Minnesota Wild as they prepare to take on the suddenly sliding Dallas Stars.
Minnesota has won three of the four match-ups between these two teams this season and will look to take the series finale tonight. Wild players know that the Stars, in dire need of points to get themselves back in the playoff hunt, will throw everything they have at Minnesota tonight.
"We all know the situation," Mikael Granlund said after practice Thursday. "They really need points and they're going to be desperate. We're going to be ready as well. It should be a good battle."
Darcy Kuemper will get the start in-goal for the Wild tonight as to give the back-up goaltender an opportunity to stay fresh in the last few games before the team's five day bye week.
Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau spoke with the media and further explained his reasoning for putting Kuemper between the pipes tonight.
"We need him to be good for us because you're not going to be able to play [Dubnyk] 22 games in a row after the break," Boudreau said. "If [Kuemper] didn't play, you're playing [Dubnyk] today, Saturday and Tuesday. Then you have the bye week. Then when we return, it'd be his first time in two-and-a-half weeks without a lot of practice. I don't think that's conducive to success."
The Stars enter tonight's contest on a two-game slide, their most recent being a 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
The puck drops between the Wild and Stars tonight at 7:08 P.M. CST and can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM.