After a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, the Dallas Stars had another close game against the Minnesota Wild. The Stars game tied the game on two different occasions to eventually force overtime, but ultimately fell 3-2 to their Central Division rival.
It was the Kevin Fiala and Jason Robertson show, with each player notching two goals in regualation. Fiala’s came just two minutes into the game, and was the only goal until Robertson tied things up early in the second period with a rare Stars power play goal. Unfortunately, Fiala sprung a breakaway on the Stars’ next power play just a few minutes later, reclaiming the Wild’s lead.
But Robertson struck back, scoring less than a minute into the third period. The teams then traded scoring chances until the final five minutes or so, at which point they both seemed content to play for overtime. The Wild dominated the 3-on-3, ultimately resulting in a Frederick Gaudreau goal for the win.
As a silver lining, the Stars picked up an extra point with the overtime loss, and are now tied with the Nashville Predators for the first Wild Card spot. Neither team has a game in hand, although the Predators do currently hold the tie-breaker. Dallas will try and overtake them completely when they faceoff against the San Jose Sharks, this Saturday at 7:00 PM CT.
Unlike Tuesday night, it didn’t take long for a team to get on the board — Frederick Gaudreau setup Kevin Fiala perfectly in front of the net, leading to a stellar backhanded goal just two minutes in.
Some back and forth scoring chances followed, first with Jason Robertson getting a nice chance off the rush. A couple minutes later, Kirill Kaprizov rang one off the post, followed by nearly a minute of offensive zone time for the Wild. The best chance after that was roughly ten minutes in when Seguin tried to setup Miro Heiskanen for a clear shot, but a sprawling Mats Zuccarello was able to poke it away.
The Stars got a few more chances in the second half of the period — a nice deflection by Robertson and a couple of shots by Marian Studenic to name a few — but they were ultimately unable to tie things up before the first intermission.
Score: Dallas 0, Minnesota 1
Shots: Dallas 13, Minnesota 10
We almost saw another goal just two minutes in when Michael Raffl skated past the defense to create a psuedo-breakaway, but he was unable to get it past Marc-Andre Fleury. Roope Hintz got a nice chance soon after, followed by some nice saves by Scott Wedgewood at the other end of the rink.
About five minutes into the period, Nick Bjugstad got called for interference, giving Dallas their first power play of the evening. And then a miracle happened: Dallas scored, courtesy of Hintz and Robertson.
Soon after, Joe Pavelski almost took the lead for Dallas with a shot from the point, the puck deflecting off of Fleury’s glove before hitting the corner of the crossbar. Roughly halfway through, the top line would get a chance with a delayed slashing penalty on Ryan Hartman, but couldn’t score with the extra attacker.
In the power play that followed, we saw yet another goal. Unfortunately, it was for Minnesota, as Fiala undressed Wedgewood on a breakaway for his second goal of the night. The Stars failed to tie it up with the remaining power play, but would then get another delayed penalty, courtesy of a Dmitry Kulikov hi-sticking.
Fleury robbed Joel Hanley on the delayed penalty, and then Pavelski somehow missed an open net during the actual power play. Fleury’s stick then accidentally clocked Alexander Radulov in the face, but the referees did not catch it and the penalty went uncalled.
That would be it for the man advantage, and a couple minutes later the Stars headed back to the locker room, still down by one.
Score: Dallas 1, Minnesota 2
Shots: Dallas 28, Minnesota 23
Continuing the theme of early period scoring opportunities, Wedgewood was forced to make a save just fifteen seconds in. And then, roughly forty seconds later, Robertson fired one that trickled through Fleury’s five-hole to tie things up:
Dallas continued to put the pressure on Fleury afterwards, including a nice shot by Denis Gurianov shortly after a faceoff. Their best chances came with a little more than eight minutes left, when a Fleury pass up the boards found its way to Jacob Peterson — he was able to set up Radulov up front, but Fleury made it back in time for an unintentional stop.
Afterwards, the pendulum swung in the Wild’s favor, who began to pepper Wedgewood. The goalie even made a save similar to one Fleury made in the second, the puck deflecting off of his glove before hitting the corner of the crossbar.
We saw less offensive action in the final five minutes, both teams seeming content to play for overtime. Which is exactly what we got.
Score: Dallas 2, Minnesota 2
Shots: Dallas 36, Minnesota 26
Minnesota won the opening faceoff and essentially never gave up the puck. About a minute and a half in, the Stars were finally able to turn the puck over and sprung John Klingberg for a possible breakaway, but the pass overshot him. Fleury then passed the puck up to Gaudreau, who shook off Robertson to sink the eight ball in the corner pocket.
Final Score: Dallas 2, Minnesota 3
Final Shots: Dallas 36, Minnesota 27