Stars aim to continue home surge vs. Wild

( – The Dallas Stars have found their footing at home and
aim to conclude a five-game residency with a victory on Friday night over the
Minnesota Wild.

The Stars lost the opener of this homestand to Carolina on Nov. 18, giving the
club a 2-8-2 record over its previous 12 games. However, they have since
rebounded with wins over Arizona, Los Angeles and Edmonton, winning three
straight for the first time this season and improving to 4-5-4 as the host on
the campaign.

Dallas got a pair of goals from Tyler Seguin in Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the
Oilers, with the forward increasing his league-leading total to 17 tallies.

Kari Lehtonen made 35 saves and rookie defenseman John Klingberg continued his
hot start with a goal and an assist. He has notched three goals and eight
points in eight games since being recalled from the minors earlier this month
and has a point in five straight.

The Stars will play three in a row on the road, starting on Saturday in

“There are still things we’d like to sharpen, staying consistent for 60
minutes,” Stars center Cody Eakin told his club’s website. “But the three wins
at home gives us a little confidence and everyone knows with a little
confidence you start playing a healthier game. I think that’s where we are

Dallas will wrap its homestand without forward Ryan Garbutt, who was handed a
two-game suspension for kneeing Edmonton’s Taylor Hall.

The Wild are coming off only their second loss in seven games, a 4-0 setback
to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday. It was also the club’s second home loss
of the campaign (7-2-0).

Darcy Kuemper was pulled on Wednesday after giving up the four goals on just
10 shots before Niklas Backstrom stopped all 12 he faced over the last two

Wild coach Mike Yeo said he thought about pulling Kuemper after the third goal
but figured they could make it through the rest of the period with him in net.

“The list of regrets I have is very long,” said Yeo. “We’ve pulled our goalies
twice in this building. At some point you have to battle through (things)

Minnesota hosts St. Louis on Saturday.

The Wild have won both of their earlier meetings with the Stars this season,
including a 2-1 victory in Dallas on Saturday. Kuemper made 27 saves in his
club’s sixth victory in the last nine meetings with the Stars.

That victory was also just Minnesota’s second in its last 21 trips to Dallas.