Stars Hope to Cap Off Modano’s Special Night With Win Over Wild

Saturday, 03.8.2014 / 12:47 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars Hope to Cap Off Modano\u2019s Special Night With Win Over Wild
The Dallas Stars skated this morning at American Airlines Center, and signs of tonight\u2019s pregame Mike Modano number retirement ceremony were evident.

The Dallas Stars skated this morning at American Airlines Center, and signs of tonight’s pregame Mike Modano number retirement ceremony were evident. New individual banners were hanging in the rafters for Bill Masterton, Bill Goldsworthy and Neal Broten, whose numbers have already been retired by the franchise. A banner with Modano’s No. 9 will go up there tonight. There were towels commemorating the event resting on the backs of each seat in the arena.

As for the Stars, they were focused on tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild, hoping to cap off what will be a special night for Modano and the franchise with a strong effort on the ice.

“We’d like to as a team make this a real special night for Mike and play a heck of a game for him because it’s once in a lifetime and it’s a well-deserved achievement on his part,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Everything around the game is going to be special. We’d like to make the game special too.”

The Stars come into the game in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, but they are just five points behind the Wild, who sit in seventh place. It’s a chance for the Stars to gain some ground a team ahead of them in the standings.

“We’ve talked about it, but this is a game that for me, if or when we win both teams will have I think it’s 16 points or 18 points in their last 10, 11 games. So we’re keeping up pace with them,” said Ruff. “They’ve won five in a row, which tells you both teams are playing well, but it puts us within three points and puts a little heat on them.”

There are no lineup changes expected for the Stars tonight. Kari Lehtonen was the first off the ice, so it appears he’ll start tonight’s game against the Wild. The forward line combinations and defense pairings in this morning’s skate were the same as the one’s used in Thursday’s 6-1 win over Vancouver. Aaron Rome appears to be the scratch on defense.

Darcy Kuemper will start in goal for the Wild. He’s 11-2-2 with a 1.95 goals against average and .934 in his last 16 starts, which included on no-decision. Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick, acquired from Buffalo at the trade deadline, will make their Wild debuts tonight.

Quotable: Stars president Jim Lites on tonight’s Mike Modano ceremony

“This is a tribute to Mo, but it’s a tribute to our franchise and it is as much about Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Val Nichushkin, Brenden Dillon and Cody Eakin – the young guys who are going to lead this franchise the next ten years – to see how you treat this Dallas icon. It’s as much about how they perceive us and how they feel about this franchise. It’s a big deal and it should be a big deal.”

Saturday’s game

Who: Minnesota Wild at Dallas Stars
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 7:30 p.m. (Modano number retirement ceremony 6 p.m.)
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinRich Peverley
Erik ColeCody EakinAlex Chiasson
Antoine RousselVernon FiddlerRyan Garbutt
Ray WhitneyShawn HorcoffValeri Nichushkin

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Jordie BennBrenden Dillon
Kevin ConnautonSergei Gonchar

Kari Lehtonen
Tim Thomas

Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise – Mikael Granlund – Jason Pominville
Matt Moulson – Mikko Koivu – Charlie Coyle
Matt Cooke – Kyle Brodziak – Nino Niederreiter
Dany Heatley – Erik Haula – Cody McCormick

Ryan Suter – Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin – Marco Scandella
Keith Ballard – Clayton Stoner

Darcy Kuemper
Ilya Bryzgalov

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 77 48 22 7 225 215 103
2 x - NSH 76 47 21 8 218 183 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
5 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
6 VAN 75 43 27 5 215 203 91
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
9 CGY 75 40 28 7 219 199 87
10 DAL 76 37 29 10 236 243 84
11 SJS 75 37 30 8 210 212 82
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 76 28 44 -4 72
T. Seguin 66 34 35 -1 69
J. Spezza 76 16 41 -3 57
J. Klingberg 59 11 27 6 38
C. Eakin 72 17 19 -2 36
T. Daley 62 16 19 -9 35
A. Goligoski 76 4 31 0 35
A. Hemsky 70 11 21 -6 32
S. Horcoff 72 11 17 8 28
V. Fiddler 74 12 14 -6 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 34 15 10 .907 2.84
J. Enroth 14 26 2 .900 3.28
 
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