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Stars look to extend dominance of Wild in Dallas

By Matt Beardmore

Stats Writer

Dallas (32-28-8) at Minnesota (32-28-7), 8:00 p.m. EDT

DALLAS (Ticker) -- Playing in the American Airlines Center was

not providing any kind of advantage for Dallas during the past

couple of weeks.

The Stars, though, finally recorded a much-needed victory in

their last home game.

Hosting a Minnesota Wild club that hasn't won in Dallas since

2003 could be the ideal scenario for the Stars to create some

space in the crowded Western Conference standings Saturday

night.

Dallas (32-28-8) avoided a third straight loss overall Thursday,

defeating Carolina 3-2.

"Those were desperate points and we needed them," said Stars

coach Dave Tippett, whose team is tied for seventh in the West

and is one point ahead of Minnesota.

After going 15-3-1 at home from November 30-February 19, Dallas

had lost a franchise-worst six straight there prior to

Thursday's victory.

Steve Begin scored his first goal with the Stars after going

seven straight without one since being acquired from Montreal

for Doug Janik on Feb. 26.

"It feels very good to get it out of the way," Begin said. "Now

I can think about something else."

Center Brendan Morrison also notched his first point for the

Stars with a second-period goal in his fifth game with his new

team.

"I was brought in here to provide offense and when you don't get

on the board right away, it's frustrating," said Morrison, who

joined Dallas on March 4 after getting waived by Anaheim. "Now

it's a matter of establishing some consistency."

Mike Modano, who assisted on Morrison's goal, has a goal and

five assists in his last seven games.

"We're depleted so we're asking a lot of the guys who are left,"

said Modano, who needs one point to tie Pierre Turgeon for 29th

all-time with 1,327. "It's critical that we get scoring from

everybody."

The Stars have done plenty of scoring when hosting Minnesota in

recent years, winning nine straight home games in the series and

netting at least three goals in each. The Wild lost 4-2 in

Dallas on October 29 and haven't won there since a 3-2 overtime

victory on March 21, 2003.

The Stars are 11-1-1 in the last 13 meetings overall.

Minnesota (32-28-7) is looking to avoid a three-game slide

following Thursday's 2-1 shootout loss at Colorado. Marc-Andre

Bergeron gave the Wild a 1-0 lead with a first-period power-play

goal, but Minnesota could not convert on its final four

opportunities with the man advantage.

"There is no excuse for this," center Mikko Koivu said. "There

is no reason to play like we did. We are in a playoff race, and

every point is important right now."

The Wild are 1-of-14 on the power play in their last five games.

Dallas, meanwhile, has killed 85.9 percent (61-of-71) of

opponents' power-play chances in its last 17 games.

"What we need to change is our power play," Minnesota coach

Jacques Lemaire said. "We didn't play with any emotion when we

were on the power play. We wanted to get better and we were

worse."

The Wild also would like to do a better job getting the puck on

net, having totaled 17 shots Thursday and averaging a

league-worst 27.5 per game.

They're likely to face Marty Turco, who is 12-4-1 with a 2.02

goals-against average in his career against Minnesota. In the

teams' last meeting on Nov. 26, Turco made 25 saves in a 4-3

victory.

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