NHL Odds: Stars Come Home as Dallas Visits Minnesota

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. 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.

The Dallas Stars (38-30-8) are winless in their last nine games, and their playoff hopes are fading fast as they prepare for a home-and-home series with the Minnesota Wild (42-24-9). They'll play the front end in St. Paul this Thursday; NBCSN has the coverage beginning at 8 PM ET. The Wild have gone 6-2-2 in their last 10 games to hang on to third place in the Central Division standings, nine points ahead of Dallas with a game in hand. However, top defenseman Jared Spurgeon (hamstring) is expected to miss the rest of the regular season.

NHL Odds: Stars-Wild at Xcel Energy Center

It's a virtual do-or-die game for the Dallas Stars (38-30-8) this Thursday when they visit the Minnesota Wild (42-24-9), starting at 8 PM ET on NBCSN. The slumping Stars are nine points behind Minnesota for third place in the Central Division standings, and the Wild have a game in hand. The Dallas Stars (38-30-8) will try to salvage their playoff hopes this Thursday when they visit the Minnesota Wild (42-24-9) at 8 PM ET on NBCSN. Dallas is on a nine-game winless streak; the Wild are 6-2-2 in their last 10 with seven games remaining.

The Minnesota Wild (42-24-9) can improve their playoff situation this Thursday (8 PM ET, NBCSN) against the visiting Dallas Stars (38-30-8), who are tumbling out of contention after going winless in their last nine games. The 38-30-8 Dallas Stars desperately need a win this Thursday night when they visit the 42-24-9 Minnesota Wild, beginning at 8 PM ET on NBCSN.