Stars-Wild Preview

The Associated Press

After a disappointing start, the Minnesota Wild finally tasted victory in their last game.

Slowing down the Dallas Stars' Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn could prove crucial if they hope to make it two in a row.

The Wild try to build on their first win Saturday night when they host the Stars, who are seeking a third straight victory.

Minnesota opened 0-1-2 before beating Winnipeg 2-1 on Thursday behind a goal and an assist from Matt Cooke. Josh Harding, starting in place of the injured Niklas Backstrom (knee), made 14 saves.

"I think it's good to get both points," coach Mike Yeo told the team's official website. "We continued to do a lot of things we have been, but bottom line is, we got both points. Needless to say, we needed that.

"It's the little things that add up to make a difference, and that's what we saw."

The Wild, who have outshot opponents 126-88 thus far, held a 30-15 edge Thursday.

"We're getting good opportunities," said Zach Parise, who scored three times in the previous two games. "Pucks are going to keep finding our sticks. We've just got to bear down and put them in."

Minnesota now turns its attention to Dallas (2-1-0), which cruised to a 4-1 win at Winnipeg on Friday. Seguin led the way with two goals and a career-high four points while Benn added a goal and two assists.

"Through training camp, preseason, I feel like every day with practices we're getting to know one another and we bring two different games to the table," Seguin, acquired from Boston in a seven-player trade this offseason, said of his relationship with Benn.

"I think we get better every day. We're becoming good friends off the ice and I think that's only going to translate to good things on the ice."

Right winger Alex Chiasson also came up big, notching a goal and an assist. The emerging 23-year-old has now scored in nine of his first 10 NHL games dating to April, including all three this season.

Friday's win, though, may have come at a cost. Kari Lehtonen stopped all 21 shots he faced before exiting late in the second period with a lower-body injury. Backup Dan Ellis went on to make 22 saves in his season debut, and he could be in net Saturday if Lehtonen can't go.

Lehtonen, who has compiled a 1.57 goals-against average in the first three games, is 6-3-0 with a 2.55 GAA in his last 10 starts versus Minnesota. Ellis is 0-2-1 with a 3.47 GAA during a five-game stretch against the Wild, though he hasn't faced them since 2011 while with Anaheim.

Harding has won his last two starts versus Dallas, including a 1-0 victory Jan. 20. Backstrom, 5-7-5 lifetime against the Stars, is 4-2-1 with a 2.10 GAA in seven home starts in the series.

Parise has totaled eight goals and eight assists in 12 career games versus Dallas.

The Stars are 22-7-1 in the series since January 2006, but 3-5-0 in their last eight visits to Minnesota.

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