Series (Game 4 of 4)

Dallas leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, December 4th
Game 2: Sunday, January 9th
Game 3: Friday, March 11th
Game 4: Sunday, April 10th

Stars 3

(42-29-11, 95 pts)

Wild 5

(39-35-8, 86 pts)

6:00 PM ET, April 10, 2011

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 T
DAL 2 1 03
MIN 1 2 25

C. Gillies (Wild - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

J. Spurgeon (Wild - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

L. Eriksson (Stars - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

Stars-Wild Preview


Thanks to a late surge, the Dallas Stars have a chance to reach the playoffs on the final day of the season.

The Stars, though, will need to beat the visiting Minnesota Wild on Sunday and get some help to secure their first postseason berth since 2007-08.

Dallas (42-28-11) has not been in playoff position since March 22 and fell five points behind eighth-place Chicago on April 1 during a season-worst 0-3-3 skid. The Stars, though, have responded with four straight victories to pull within two points of the Blackhawks.

After Chicago defeated Detroit on Friday, Brenden Morrow scored a pivotal third-period goal -- his fourth goal in as many games -- in a 3-2 victory over Colorado that kept the Stars from being eliminated.

"We keep the dream alive and keep believing we can get in there," forward Mike Ribeiro said.

To pass the Blackhawks for the eighth seed, Dallas must win and have Chicago lose in regulation to the Red Wings. That scenario would send it to the third tiebreaker, head-to-head matchups, which the Stars hold.

"The only thing we control is how we prepare and how we play," defenseman Stephane Robidas told the team's website. "That's the only thing we can focus on. It's frustrating (to need help), but at the same time, that's why you play 82 games, to get a shot at playing in the playoffs."

The Stars appear to have a good shot to do their part. Dallas has won six in a row over Minnesota (38-35-8) and has outscored the Wild 12-3 in three matchups this season.

In the most recent meeting, Kari Lehtonen needed to make only 14 saves in a 4-0 victory March 11.

Minnesota has gone 3-10-1 in its last 14, getting outscored 54-24 over that span. The Wild defeated Edmonton 3-1 on Friday, overcoming a brawl-filled first period to end a three-game slide.

"We came in here with a mindset of coming in and playing hard and to get our 20th road win," forward Brad Staubitz said. "We had a tough loss in Vancouver (5-0 on Thursday) and we played hard and with emotion. That was a long first period but I thought we stuck together and fared well."

Minnesota is 1-4-1 in its last six home games -- the only victory coming against the Oilers -- and has been outscored 27-13 over that stretch.

Dallas is seeking its third straight victory at the Xcel Energy Center, which would tie its longest run there. The Stars' other three-game win streak in Minnesota was March 19, 2001-Jan. 13, 2002.