Monday, March 25, 2013

Wildly Undone. Dallas Stars Game 32: Stars lose to the Minnesota Wild 7-4

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The Dallas Stars failed to hold three leads and five turnovers led to goals giving the Minnesota Wild a 7-4 win Monday night. The last time the Wild won in Dallas was in March 2003.

The Stars led 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2, but couldn’t hold off the Wild. Minnesota capitalized on turnovers, odd-man rushes, and they crashed the Dallas in their rally to victory.

Alex Goligoski opened the scoring with his first goal of the season. Derek Roy sent the puck deep into the Minnesota zone and he stole it back from Ryan Suter behind the net. He centered a pass for Goligoski who was skating directly down the middle of the zone. The goal put Dallas up 1-0 5:31 into the first period, but Minnesota tied it up little over two minutes later.

Cody Eakin was unable to clear the puck up along the boards and the Wild took over the puck. Kari Lehtonen stopped the intial shot from the boards and a rebound, but Zach Parise was able to finally put the puck in the net to tie the game 1-1.

Dallas regained the lead with less than three minutes remaining in the opening period. The Stars won the intial faceoff on a power play and moved the puck around the zone from corner to corner utilizing Benn behind the net. Eventually, the puck came to Whitney along the left wing boards and he took a shot toward the net. The puck hit a defender in front of the net, Loui Eriksson tapped it over to his right and Jaromir Jagr buried the puck in the back of the net.

Minnesota tied the game back up 3:42 into the second period when Mikko Koivu misfired a cross-ice pass near the Dallas blue line. Tomas Vincour was unable to control the puck and Koivu rifled a shot past Lehtonen.

Trevor Daley gave the Stars their final lead of the game 5:10 into the second period. He skated the puck from his own zone to the opposing blue line along the right wing boards and dropped the puck for Eriksson. Eriksson sent a return pass and Daley one-timed the puck past Niklas Backstrom from the right circle.

The Wild tied the game at three when Lehtonen stretched out of position on a shot from the point that was blocked wide. Koivu collected the puck at the end boards and sent it back in front. It bounced off Lehtonen who was a few feet out of his goal still. The puck slid to Parise who was at the top of the crease and his shot trickled across the line off Daley’s stick.  

Matt Cullen gave the Wild their first lead 14:22 into the second period. A shot from the point bounced off a Minnesota player in front of the net and landed in the middle of a pack of bodies. Whitney failed to control or clear the puck. Cullen seized the opportunity and wristed the puck past Lehtonen who was out of position after the puck was initially blocked.

Minnesota outscored the Stars 3-1 in the third period as well. Philip Larsen collected a loose puck in the middle of the offensive zone and wristed it into the net to tie the game at four 7:02 into the final frame.

Mike Rupp was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking and a game misconduct. It was the perfect time for the Stars to take back the game. Instead, Kyle Brodziak scored a short-handed goal 20 seconds into the penalty and the Wild never looked back. The goal was scored on a 2-on-1 rush after a turnover by Eakin in the neutral zone.

Another turnover near the Dallas blue line led to Dany Heatley putting the Wild up 6-4. Brodziak took the turnover and attempted a centering feed twice. Lehtonen stopped two shots, but Heatley scored on the third attempt. Pierre-Marc Bouchard added an empty net goal with 16 seconds left to seal the deal.

Dallas has a few days off, and they get a shot at redemption Friday night when they host the Wild for their third game of the current 5-game home stand. 

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