Dallas (2-0) at Minnesota (0-2)
When: Monday, April 18th 2016
Where: Excel Energy Center, Saint Paul, MN
Time: 8:35 ET | TV: CNBC
The Minnesota Wild will look to get back into their first round series with the Dallas Stars when the two teams meet in Saint Paul on Monday night. Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen has been outstanding through the first two games stopping 47-of-48 Wild shots. The top-seeded Stars have won 11 of their last 13 games overall and have outscored Minnesota 6-1 so far in the series. Dallas captain Jamie Benn continued to torment Minnesota by providing the dagger with a third-period goal – his second of the series and ninth point in five meetings with the Wild this season. Forward Tyler Seguin (33 goals, 40 assists) played for the first time in 11 games on Saturday, but is still bothered by an Achilles tendon injury. Dallas’ power play, ranked fourth during the regular season, has converted on only 1-of-11 chances against Minnesota.
Minnesota’s 2-1 loss in Game 2 was a tough one to take considering that one of the goals in the 2-1 defeat ricocheted off the skates of two players and caromed off the back of the head of Wild netminder Devan Dubnyk. The loss was the seventh in a row overall for Minnesota who came into the postseason with zero momentum, and the sixth straight playoff defeat. Minnesota will need to get production out of someone during the continued absence of leading goal scorer Zach Parise (25 goals), who is no closer to returning from a back injury that has sidelined him since the next-to-last game of the regular season. Thomas Vanek, who scored 18 goals this season will be one of those asked to step up. Captain Mikko Koivu, who topped the team with 56 points during the regular season, is mired in a 10-game goal drought.
Dallas is on a roll right now and is a legitimate Cup contender. The Wild just can’t seem to catch a break even when they’re playing well. This series has sweep written all over it.
Pick: Stars -124