The Dallas Stars need a miracle if they’re going to make the playoffs. They might not get the points they desperately need this Thursday when they return to their old stomping grounds to face the Minnesota Wild, who are hanging tough in third place in the Central Division. Game time is 8 PM ET on NBCSN.

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The Stars (38-30-8), who began life in 1967 as the Minnesota North Stars, find themselves nine points behind the Wild (42-24-9) in the Central standings, and five points back in the Wild Card race with just six games left to play. Dallas is also on an untimely nine-game winless streak. No. 1 netminder Ben Bishop (.916 save percentage) is out with a knee injury, and back-up Kari Lehtonen (.911 SV%) has struggled to replace him.
Minnesota has kept pace in the Central at 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, but they’ll be missing one of their best blueliners after Jared Spurgeon (37 points in 61 games) suffered a partially torn right hamstring two weeks ago. Spurgeon isn’t expected to return until the playoffs; the eight-year veteran has been a regular fixture in the Wild’s top defensive tandem alongside Ryan Suter.

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