The Dallas Stars continued their inability to win the second of a back-to-back with a 5-1 loss at the Minnesota Wild Saturday night.
The Stars have struggled with back-to-backs over recent seasons, but hoped the addition of a seasoned veteran backup goalie would help. Dan Ellis made some strong saves, including two on one-timers in the slot, but he ended the night with 31 saves on 36 shots.
Dallas started the game on the wrong foot when an errant pass in the Stars’ zone from Brenden Dillon resulted in a Minnesota goal 12 seconds into the first period. The puck drifted through the center of the Dallas zone when Matt Cooke collected the puck and passed it ahead to Justin Fontaine. The rookie then scored on a backhand shot for his first career NHL goal.
Nearly halfway through the first period, another defensive error led to a Minnesota goal. Alex Goligoski overskated the puck behind the Dallas net, and Cooke scored on a wraparound.
The Stars came out better in the second period. They possessed the puck more and were more aggressive on the attack. Mathew Dumba helped Minnesota gain back some momentum with a power play goal 8:23 into the second period. It was his first career NHL goal as well.
Nino Niederreiter scored off a bank shot 10:20 into the second period, but Dallas would finally answer. On the power play, Tyler Seguin attempted a cross-ice pass that deflected off of Jamie Benn’s skates as well as a Minnesota defender. Jordie Benn was in position to wrist the puck past Wild goalie Josh Harding. The Stars ended the night 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
Zach Parise scored Minnesota’s second power play goal of the night 14:30 into the third period when he banged home a rebound off a shot from the point. The Wild ended the night 2-for-4 on the power play.
Minnesota outshot (36-19) and outhit (15-10) Dallas in their first meeting of the season. One of the few bright spots for the Stars was that they won 30 of 58 faceoffs against the league’s best in that category.
The final stop for Dallas on their current road trip is Colorado on Tuesday night. The Avalanche are 5-0-0 to start the season under new coach Patrick Roy.