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Stars expect Monday to be toughest game against Parise-less Wild

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The Wild say Zach Parise and Thomas Vanek will not play Monday night when the Wild try to turn the tide in their best-of-seven playoff series against the Dallas Stars.

Parise, out with an upper-body injury, didn't play in Minnesota's 4-0 and 2-1 losses to the Stars in Games 1 and 2, and when asked Sunday if his star player in closer to returning, head coach John Torchetti said, "No."

https://twitter.com/ChadGraff/status/721757333001519105

Vanek was listed as "week-to-week" to begin the series so his absence isn't surprising.

With Parise out, Torchetti wants the leaders on the team – guys like Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville – to lead the way.

“Our leaders have to be better leaders now moving forward,” Torchetti said, via the Pioneer Press. “That’s just how the game is. You always count on your leaders. Those are your big-time players. So far, we’ve just been just average all the way around."

Stars expect toughest game

The Wild have dropped seven games in a row dating back to the regular season, but the Stars (2-2-8 in their last 12 games in St. Paul) are expecting an energized crowd.

"This next game's probably going to be the hardest, and we have to get prepared for that," Stars center Vernon Fiddler told the Dallas Morning News.

Torchetti is stressing the importance of scoring 5-on-5 goals. During this seven-game losing streak, the Wild has just seven goals total, one goal in this seres – and it wasn't a 5-on-5 goal.

Frightening stat

Per the Wild, only four teams in league history have rallied to win a series after trailing 3-games-to-none.

"It’s a home game, so you’ve got to hold court; that’s the number thing," Torchetti said Sunday, via Wild.com. "It’s not a changed series until you lose a game at home. It’s always like that. We have to make sure that we come in here, and again, we talk about the first period, that’s about it for me."

Playoff rally towels

Every seat inside Xcel Energy Center is draped with a Minnesota Wild rally towel.

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