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Get your game notes: Wild at Stars

This evening on NBCSN, it’s the Dallas Stars hosting the Minnesota Wild starting at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• In 2000-01, when the Wild played their inaugural season, Minnesota got its first taste of NHL hockey since the North Stars relocated to Dallas as the Stars for the 1993-94 season. Tonight, the Wild and Stars will be meeting for the 50th time (DAL lead the series, 30-15-1-3). Stars defenseman Trevor Daley leads all active, healthy players in games played in the series, with 33.

• Entering New Year’s Day, Dallas (20-12-7, 47 points) was in fourth place in the Central Division, two points ahead of fifth-place Minnesota (20-17-5, 45). Since then, the surging Wild (7-2-0, 14 points in January) has 11 more points than the sinking Stars (1-8-1, three points).

• Stars center Tyler Seguin, the team’s leader with 21 goals, is on a nine-game goal drought, his longest of the last two regular seasons. Seguin went goalless in 10 straight from Feb. 2-28, 2012 when he was a member of the Boston Bruins.

• Wild defenseman Ryan Suter is averaging 29:34 ice time over his first 51 games, most in the NHL by a 1:36 margin over the No. 2 player in the category, Florida blueliner Brian Campbell. Suter’s ice-time pace is the highest since Chris Pronger averaged 30:14 per game for the 1999-2000 Blues.

• The Wild and Stars each ended long droughts without a hat trick, when Suter and Seguin scored three goals for their teams in games earlier this season. Since 2005-06, the Wild had gone the longest time between hat tricks in the NHL, in terms of games. (Elias Sports Bureau)

Player | Date | Previous hat trick | Date | # of games
MIN: Suter | Jan. 4, 2014 | Guillaume Latendresse | Jan. 16, 2010 | 288
WPG: active | Anthony Stewart | Oct. 15, 2010 | 258
DAL: Seguin | Nov. 14, 2013 | Steve Ott | Mar. 31, 2010 | 235

• The Wild (9-12-3) and Maple Leafs (8-10-4) are the only two teams currently in playoff position with losing road records. However, the Wild have won three straight road games for the first time this season. Minnesota last won three road games in a row from Apr. 7-16, 2013, and last won more than three from Mar. 9-25, 2013, when their road win streak hit five.

• Stars winger Jamie Benn needs one goal to become the 21st player to score 100 or more goals for the Minnesota/Dallas franchise. Of the 20 previous players, 10 scored all of their goals while the franchise was in Minnesota, six scored all after the relocation to Dallas, and four scored goals in both.

• Wild defenseman Nate Prosser, who scored one goal in his first 96 NHL games, has scored the game-winning goal in each of his team’s last two games. 19 other players have scored the GWG in two consecutive games this season; no one has done it in three straight.

• Tonight, Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper will be making his fifth straight start dating back to Jan. 12. During that span, he has a 3-1-0 record, with a 1.48 GAA, .946 save percentage and one shutout. Only twice this season have the Wild ridden one goaltender for four or more entire games in a row. (Josh Harding, five games, Nov. 1-9, and four games, Nov. 29-Dec. 5)

‘Hawks sign goalie Glass, an expansion draft option

GRAND FORKS, ND - JANUARY 4:  Jeff Glass #33 of Team Canada skates during the gold medal game against Team Russia at the World Junior Hockey Championships at the Ralph Engelstad Arena on January 4, 2005 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Canada defeated Russia 6-1 to win the gold medal. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
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Chicago has signed journeyman netminder Jeff Glass to a two-year deal, the club announced on Thursday.

Glass, 31, has never played in the NHL. A third-round pick by Ottawa in 2004, he spent a few years with the organization before heading overseas, and carving out a successful KHL career.

Last summer, he returned to North America by signing on with Toronto’s AHL affiliate, the Marlies. But he was released in January, then quickly caught on with Chicago’s AHL affiliate in Rockford, where he’s played well — Glass is 5-4-0 this year, with a 2.38 GAA and .917 save percentage.

His signing, as mentioned in the headline, could be related to the expansion draft. Corey Crawford is the only Chicago goalie under contract beyond this season and, because of his no-movement clause, is required to be protected — meaning GM Stan Bowman needs someone to expose.

Bowman has said he’d like to bring back backup Scott Darling, but Darling’s a UFA at the end of the year. What’s more, he could be in line for a starting gig — Crawford himself talked up Darling as a potential No. 1 — and that opportunity probably won’t come in Chicago.

The other goalies currently in Rockford, Mac Carruth and Lars Johansson, are pending RFAs and UFAs, respectively. Carruth could also qualify as a goalie to expose, per CapFriendly, but the ‘Hawks would need to make him a qualifying offer first.

Glass’ two-year deal is for the remainder of this season and the next, meaning it expires in July of ’18.

Streit and Del Zotto could get Flyers something at deadline

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 09:  Mark Streit #32 of the Philadelphia Flyers completes a pass against the Carolina Hurricanes on April 9, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
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With just three wins in their last 10 games, the Philadelphia Flyers are going to need one heck of a finish to make the playoffs.

In fact, according to Sports Club Stats, they’ll need to go around 14-5-3 in their remaining 22 games to grab the second wild-card spot in the East.

Oh, and by the way, the second wild-card team is probably going to match up with the Washington Capitals in the first round, so even if the Flyers do somehow make it, their postseason appearance would likely be a quick one.

Looking ahead to the March 1 deadline, the Flyers have a couple of pending unrestricted free agents that GM Ron Hextall could turn into draft picks or prospects. D-man Mark Streit can still run a power play, and Michael Del Zotto could add depth to a good back end. Veteran Nick Schultz is unlikely to bring much of a return, but he’s a pending UFA too.

Up front, only fourth-liners Chris VandeVelde and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare would be pure rentals. The Flyers also have a couple of goalies on expiring contracts in Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth; however, neither netminder is enjoying a strong season, and that’s an understatement.

Philadelphia plays twice more before the deadline, Saturday in Pittsburgh and Tuesday at home to Colorado.

“I believe 100 percent we’re capable of making the playoffs,” Streit said, per the Courier-Post. “In saying that, it’s out of our control. It’s up to Hexy. We have such a great group. I know it’s going to be a huge challenge, but I think we’re up to the task.”

Trade: Pens acquire d-man help, get Hainsey from Carolina

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Ron Hainsey #65 of the Carolina Hurricanes yells at the referee after receiving two minor penalties in the third period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on November 29, 2016 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Hurricanes 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Pittsburgh has added another veteran presence on the blueline in advance of a second consecutive Stanley Cup.

Ron Hainsey, the 35-year-old ‘Canes rearguard, has been acquired in exchange for a second-round pick and AHLer Danny Kristo, per TVA. Hainsey, a pending UFA, is in the last of a three-year, $8.5 million deal with a $2.83M average annual cap hit. Per Sportsnet, Carolina will retain 50 percent of his salary.

The Hainsey acquisition comes with the Pens down several key d-men. Olli Maatta and Justin Schultz are sidelined with a hand injury and concussion, while Trevor Daley suffered a lower-body injury on Tuesday night.

UPDATE:

And that makes the trade all the more important.

Hainsey — who holds the current active record for most regular-season games played (891) without appearing in the playoffs — makes a lot of sense for the Pens.

He played under GM Jim Rutherford in Carolina, has decent offensive capabilities (14 points in 56 games) and can log some significant minutes. Hainsey played over 22 per night this year for the ‘Canes, a carryover from last year when he averaged 22:19.

Schultz and Daley, you’ll recall, were two of Rutherford’s key defensive upgrades last year that helped put Pittsburgh over the top. The season prior, Ian Cole was acquired from St. Louis and turned into an important blueline piece.

So the hope, obviously, is that Hainsey can replicate some of that success.

For the ‘Canes, this deal allows them to further stockpile picks for the ’17 draft. The club now has 10 selections overall, including six in the first three rounds. Kristo, 26, was at one time considered a prospect but now is pretty much a career AHLer. He scored 11 points in 32 games this year for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

 

NHL on NBCSN: Jonathan Toews looks to stay hot against Coyotes

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 07:  Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates with the puck against the Oliver Ekman-Larsson #23 of the Phoenix Coyotes in the second period at Jobing.com Arena on February 7, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2016-17 campaign tonight when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Arizona Coyotes at 8:30 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

From an offensive perspective, October through December was a relative quiet time for ‘Hawks captain Jonathan Toews. But when the calendar turned to 2017, something changed in his game.

He’s coming off an incredible five-point effort (three goals and two assists) in a win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night and he’s now up to 24 points in 20 games since Jan. 5.

“I think for me the biggest change in my approach to the game is just my expectations,” Toews said, per the Chicago Tribune. “Just try to go into every game with no expectation, focus on the process, focus on playing well, playing the right way, staying in the moment, especially if things don’t go in or things don’t go your way. You’re just building one game after another to try and follow up good efforts and put weeks together, multiple games back to back.”

Toews has had the opportunity to play with guys like Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa, but believe it or not, he’s doing all this damage with Richard Panik and Nick Schmaltz on his wings.

The Blackhawks dropped their first game out of the bye (a 3-1 loss to Edmonton), but they’ve been able to rattle off impressive wins over Buffalo and now Minnesota.

Despite the win over their division rival, Chicago is still five points behind Minnesota for the Central Division crown. If the ‘Hawks are going to make a push up the standings, it’ll have to be sooner than later.

Arizona is in a completely different situation. They’re 15 points out of a Wild Card spot, so expect this team to look significantly different by next week’s trade deadline.

Pending unrestricted free agent Michael Stone was the first player to be moved, but Shane Doan, Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata might all find themselves on new teams by the start of next month.

On the ice, the Coyotes have actually been much better of late. They come into tonight’s game having won five of their last six contests.

Their latest victory came on Monday night, when they took down the Ducks 3-2.

The Coyotes had to overcome adversity in that one, as they lost goalie Mike Smith, who blasted the NHL’s concussion protocol after that game, to injury.

Arizona might not have anything to play for, but that’s what often makes teams more dangerous down the final stretch of the season. We’ll find out if Chicago and their red-hot captain can overcome the team trying to play spoiler.