Two of the NHL's lowest-scoring teams square off Tuesday night when the Dallas Stars host the Minnesota Wild. Dallas ranks last in the league with 1.92 goals per game, while Minnesota is third-to-last at 2.36 goals. The first team to score three, if either team even does, could very well be the victor. Dallas saw its three-game winning streak come to an end with a 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh. Minnesota has won three of its last four including most recently 5-1 victory over Los Angeles.
Dallas has topped two games in a game just three times all season. The Stars have struggled mightily to convert on power plays, where they hold an 8.3 scoring percentage. 22-year old forward Roope Hintz leads the team with six goals; no other skater has more than three. For Minnesota, scoring has picked up considerably in the team's last three wins. The Wild averaged four goals in that stretch but were also shutout by Nashville in between those victories. Brad Hunt has a team-best four goals.
Wild look to stay hotThe Minnesota Wild are beginning to turn things around after starting the season with seven losses in their first eight games. Since then, Minnesota has won three of four including a beatdown of Los Angeles on Sunday. The Wild scored three third-period goals in the 5-1 win and all five goals came from different skaters. That's the kind of offensive production that has been sorely missing from Minnesota in the opening stretch of the fall.
The Wild are averaging just 1.43 goals in road games, which has led to a 1-6 record away from Minnesota. It doesn't help the team's cause that 13 of their first 18 games will be played on the road. Not much was expected of Minnesota offensively this year, but no one could have predicted that defenseman Brad Hunt would be leading the team in scoring. The six-year veteran only had 10 career goals heading into this season. Zach Parise, the 35-year old left wing who led the team in points last season, has just three to his name through 11 games, all of them being goals.
Minnesota is expected to go give Alex Stalock the start at goalie Tuesday night. Stalock is coming off his best home start of the season in which he saved 30 of 31 shots against Los Angeles. Stalock has struggled in his last two road starts, allowing four goals to both Nashville and Montreal.
Dallas hopes to get back in win columnThe Dallas Stars saw their three-game winning streak come to a disappointing close Sunday night with a 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh. The game was actually tied at 0-0 through two periods before Pittsburgh ran away with it in the third. For Dallas, the loss offered much of the same: an under-performing offense that couldn't convert when it needed to. The Stars actually won the face-off battle 35-28 and committed 0 penalty minutes. None of that mattered though, as all 25 of their shots missed the back of the net.
The Stars aren't looking anything like the group that took the St. Louis Blues to seven games in the second round of the 2018-19 Western Conference playoffs. That team wasn't stellar offensively -- they averaged just over 2.5 goals per game -- but they made up for it with an elite defense. So far this year, Dallas has been outscored by 11 goals over 13 games. Center Tyler Seguin, who led the team with 33 goals last season, has just two so far.
Goalie Ben Bishop is playing up to his career averages in goals allowed and save percentage. He had a phenomenal outing two weekends ago against Philadelphia in which he saved 38 of 39 shots. He's allowing 2.34 goals per game, a decent mark by any standard, but it's not going to get the job done when the offense can't even average two goals a night.
- Stars are 2-9 in their last 11 after scoring two goals or less in their previous game.
- Wild are 4-0 in their last four games playing on two days rest.