The Dallas Stars lost 6-2 to the Minnesota Wild on the second night of a back-to-back in the last game of Hockey Day in America. They started out well, but then had a meltdown of nuclear proportions in the third period to lose their fourth game in their last five.
In the first period, Jhonas Enroth was sharp, keeping the game scoreless when the team in front of him broke down, especially on the penalty kill. He made four saves during that penalty kill, and 11 total. He was definitely the best player on the ice for the Stars in the opening frame.
Early in the second period, the Stars weathered a big storm, unable to exit their own zone for a prolonged period of time. At one point, Cody Eakin was defending without his stick, so the Wild had a de facto 5-on-4 power play. The Wild could not capitalize, however. After a series of partial changes due to the Stars' inability to get the puck out of the zone and past the red line, they finally got a full change and got out of the jam.
Later in the second period, the Stars finally broke the scoreless tie on their third power play of the period. Jason Spezza carried the puck inside the right faceoff circle and unleashed a slap shot that beat Devan Dubnyk short side.
The Stars carried the lead into the second intermission. Would the Stars be able to hold this lead?
No, they were not able to. Not even close.
The Wild tied the game with 18:20 left in the third period when Zach Parise tipped in a pass from Christian Folin on a give-and-go.
Not even two minutes later, the Wild took the lead on a really soft goal by Mikko Koivu. Koivu fired a shot from a severe angle, and it squeaked through Enroth. Enroth had been sharp in net all game up until this point, keeping the Stars in the game. To have his night spoiled by that was unfortunate to observe, but it got so much worse as the third period went on.
The Wild increased their lead to 3-1 when Stéphane Veilleux shot in a loose puck off of an endboard rebound from a Marco Scandella point shot. The defense around Enroth had no idea where the puck was, and that is always a recipe for disaster.
What was a 1-0 lead turned into a 3-1 deficit in less than nine minutes.
With 6:35 left in the third period, Matthew Dumba put the Wild up 4-1 with a wrist shot from the high slot that beat Enroth glove side.
Just for good measure, Mikael Granlund scored with just over 5:30 left in the third to put the Wild up 5-1.
In garbage time, Parise scored again to make it 6-1, but soon after that, Spezza scored his second of the night to make a 6-1 stinker a 6-2 stinker. The Stars lost the game by that final score.
The six goals the Stars allowed in the third period are the most allowed by any team in the NHL this season. The Stars have allowed 18 goals in their last three games.
The Wild are now in the second wild card spot, and the Stars are six points out of a playoff spot.