Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wild go o-fer-Big 'D' for sixth year as Stars win 4-2

Last-minute injury, 'dirtiest player in game' combine to help Dallas extend Wild losing streak in Metroplex to six full seasons

The Wild just can't get a victory out of Victory Station.

The Dallas Stars, behind Steve Ott's two fights against Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck, fought -- literally -- their way to a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, as an announced 16,729 roared their approval for Mike Modano's goal and assist, which propelled the Stars to victory at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, whose commuter train stop (for trains to Fort Worth) is named 'Victory Station'. The victory solidfied Dallas in 10th place in the NHL Western Conference.

Without Derek Boogaard and John Scott in the lineup, the Stars' Steve Ott, widely known as one of the dirtest players in the NHL, was allowed to run roughshod over the overmatched Wild, playing their fourth game in seven nights, as they ended a three-game road trip with a 1-2 record.

The problems were exacerbated prior to the game, as the Wild's Josh Harding, the scheduled starting goalie, somehow re-aggravated his hip injury in warm-ups, necessitating the use of emergency call-up Wade Dubleiewicz, who was re-recalled to the big club after being sent down on Monday to the Houston Aeros. Dubleiewicz played in the Aeros' game vs. Abbotsford on Monday night, after traveling from San Jose to Houston on Monday, after having been sent back when Niklas Backstrom, who had been ill, was declared OK to play on Sunday. Tuesday morning, Backstrom was sent back to Minnesota, as he still was not feeling well.

The Wild now are home for the next month; two weeks of that, however, is the Olympic break, when locker rooms are closed. Prior to that, there is a five-game homestand, beginning with the Next Game: vs. Edmonton, Thursday, Feb. 4, 7:00 PM Central (6:00 PM Mountain) Time, Xcel Energy Center. (Wild TV: FSNorth (including FSWisconsin) in HD; Oilers' TV: Rogers SportsNet-West; XM Radio, Ch. 238)

-- WRT

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