Fiddler scores twice as Stars clobber Wild
Stars coach Lindy Ruff thought the play of Vernon Fiddler and the fourth line was a big reason why Dallas was so successful Saturday night.
Fiddler scored two goals for the first time in two seasons and took part in a four-player fight, leading the Stars to a 7-1 win over the Minnesota Wild.
"When all of your lines are doing the right things and all the lines are producing, it’s a winning recipe," Ruff said.
Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves for Dallas, after shutting out Arizona 6-0 on Wednesday. The Stars scored six or more goals in consecutive games for first time since 1997.
Fiddler scored the first goal on the power play at 5:34 of the first period on a pass from Erik Cole in the left faceoff circle.
Before the game, the Stars discussed how Minnesota had flown in following a game Friday night.
"We wanted to have a good start," Fiddler said. "(Cole) made a great play to me on the power play, and I tried to get the shot off quick."
Fiddler, Cole, Colton Sceviour, Tyler Seguin and Antoine Roussel all scored in a five-goal second period. In the third, Brett Ritchie netted his second goal in two NHL games.
The Stars’ Jamie Oleksiak had a career-high three assists, giving him six in 24 games this season. Seguin, Cole and Ritchie had an assist apiece for Dallas, which won its fourth straight and eighth in nine games.
Ritchie sent a backhand pass from behind the goal to Fiddler for his second-period goal.
Fiddler said, "He’s a big body down low, and he doesn’t have the (defense) come right on him because they know they’re not going to power him. He has a little bit of time."
Thomas Vanek had a power-play goal in the second for Minnesota, 2-4-3 in the last nine games.
Wild center Mikko Koivu wouldn’t use playing twice in two nights as an excuse.
"We’ve been in a back-to-back situation. Everyone has that. Just weren’t even close to good enough. I think the score told you that."
Dallas last went back-to-back games with at least six goals March 16 and 19, 1997, against Pittsburgh and Phoenix.
Dallas scored four times in a span of 6:12 in the second period, to put the game out of hand.
Sceviour put a slap shot from high in the right circle past Darcy Kuemper at 5:03. Fiddler scored at 7:44.
Seguin’s league-leading 26th goal at 8:56 chased Kuemper. Cole scored at 11:15 with Niklas Backstrom out of position.
Minnesota killed the Stars’ 5-on-3 power play following a fight in which four players drew 64 penalty minutes, including 37 for the Wild’s Stu Bickel.
Fiddler drew a 5-minute penalty for fighting after a Wild player knocked Dallas defenseman Trevor Daley into Lehtonen.
"They’re obviously going to try to get some kind of spark going," Fiddler said. "We don’t want (Lehtonen) getting hurt. You stick up for your teammates."
Vanek made 5-1 at 15:16 of the second, but Roussel put in a rebound at 17:41 to restore Dallas’ five-goal lead.
NOTES: The Stars placed Shawn Horcoff (illness) on injured reserve, claimed D David Schlemko from Arizona on waivers and returned D Jyrki Jokipakka to the AHL’s Texas Stars. Schlemko did not arrive in time to play. … It was Fiddler’s first two-goal game since April 9, 2013, against the Kings. Three of his four goals have been against the Wild. He hadn’t scored since Nov. 1 at Minnesota. … A stomach virus has been going through the Wild locker room. LW Jason Zucker returned after missing four games, but Brett Sutter remained out for the second game. … Dallas has scored three short-handed goals, and Minnesota has allowed three. … Koivu and Zach Parise assisted on Vanek’s goal. Parise has 15 points in his last nine games against Dallas, Vanek 10 in the last seven and Koivu eight in his last eight.