No Brenden Morrow? No problem. No Jere Lehtinen? No problem. Marty Turco not starting in goal? Fuhgeddaboutit.
The Dallas Stars made up for their suburban cousins -- the Cowboys -- and actually beat a team from Minnesota Monday night, in this case the Minnesota Wild, by a score of 4-3 at American Airlines Center.
The game was yet another evening where the Wild failed to fully show up as the Stars sent waves of forwards at starting goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who was mercifully pulled after the fourth Dallas goal at the 13:37 mark of the second period. Josh Harding came in, and had to try and clean up the mess, made all that much difficult after he was sat on by Dallas' Steve Ott near the end of the second period.
The Wild's anemic offense was supposed to be helped by the addition of Petr Sykora on the wing, but he was relegated to third-line duty (with Andrew Ebbett and Cal Clutterbuck) most of the evening, not the kind of return either the veteran or his Twitter-feeding agent, Allan Walsh, were hoping for. Walsh had been conducting a Twitter campaign to get his client back in the Minnesota lineup, after Sykora was cleared to play following a concussion, suffered in November. Antti Miettinen scored twice for the Wild (one in the second period, once again in the third) to make it somewhat close, but the deceiving nature of the night was underscored after Mikko Koivu scored to make it close, as close was all they would get tonight.
Brad Richards had three assists to lead the Stars, who won their 11th straight game at home vs. the Wild, going back to 2003. The Wild are scheduled to play the Stars again in Dallas, on Feb. 2, again in a nationally-cablecast (might as well be cable only; ask a DirecTV subscriber who is a hockey fan) game on Versus. The loss is the fourth straight for the Wild against a Pacific Division club as well, and will knock them down to no better than 12th in the NHL's Western Conference.
The Wild will now take a full two days off (for the first time in nearly two weeks) until the NEXT GAME: vs. Detroit, Thursday, Jan. 21, 7:00 PM Central (8:00 PM Eastern) Time, Xcel Energy Center. (Wild TV: KSTC-45; Detroit TV: FSDetroit (in HD); XM Radio, Ch. 238)