For the first time since 2002, the Minnesota Wild beat the Dallas Stars in regulation at American Airlines Center 7-4, Monday night. The victory pushed the Wild’s win streak to six in a row, and put the Stars at 1-1-0 at the front-end of a five-game home stand.
Dallas launched into the first period with Alex Goligoski scoring the first goal of the night just five minutes into the game. The Wild returned the goal two minutes later though, as Zach Parise grabbed his own rebound from Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen to tie the game at one. With only three minutes left in the period, the Stars went on the power play. Jaromir Jagr landed a shot behind Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom just 20 seconds in, giving the Stars a 2-1 lead and pushing Jagr further to the top of the team’s goal-scorers with 14 for the season.
The Wild refused to stay behind long, and just three minutes into the second period, returned Jagr’s goal when Mikko Koivu snuck a shot through Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen’s legs. The Stars stayed determined to battle back though, as Trevor Daley tied the game yet again. Minnesota appeared to take the lead off an attempted rebound by Parise, but it was ruled he pushed Lehtonen into the net while trying to shove the puck past the goal line, nullifying the goal. The Wild did manage to grab the lead halfway through the period when yet another shot by Parise found its way to the back of the Stars’ goal. The Wild grabbed the lead again with a wrist shot by Matt Cullen that sent the Stars into the second intermission down 4-3.
The Stars appeared to find a second wind headed into the third period, but any breath of fresh air that came on the ice, left just as quickly. Dallas’ Phillip Larsen tied the game seven minutes into the period, hinting a close finale would ensue. But the Wild had a different plan in mind, and scored three consecutive, unanswered goals in the span of seven minutes. Minnesota’s Kyle Brodziak grabbed what would be the final lead while the Wild were on a four minute penalty kill. Dany Heatley bumped the score to 6-4 with a minute and a half remaining in the period, and after Lehtonen left the Stars’ net to allow an extra attacker on offense, Pierre-Marc Bouchard landed an empty-net goal with only 16 seconds left on the clock.
The Stars face the Wild again Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at American Airlines Center. The game will be shown on Fox Sports Southwest.