Stars lose tough battle against Wild
DALLAS (AP) -- Jason Zucker scored the winner with 6:45 to play as the Minnesota Wild beat the Dallas Stars 5-4 after blowing a four-goal lead Saturday night.
Zucker skated into the paint as Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen blocked a shot. The puck bounced off Zucker's chest and into the goal just before the net came off its moorings. A replay review confirmed the goal.
Three Minnesota players scored in the first 4:01, and the Wild led 4-0 before the period ended.
The goals by Mikko Koivu, Eric Staal and Matt Dumba knocked Stars starting goalie Antti Niemi from the game without a save.
Chris Stewart also scored against Lehtonen for a 4-0 lead at 12:45 of the first.
The Stars rallied with Antoine Roussel scoring 7 seconds before the first period ended, Jiri Hudler and Tyler Seguin adding second-period goals and John Klingberg tying it on the power play with 8:47 remaining.
Darcy Kuemper made 34 saves for the Wilds, and Lehtonen stopped 26 shots.
Minnesota is 16-1-1 in the last 18 games, and 18-2-3 since an overtime loss at Dallas on Nov. 21.
The Wild finished the first half of the schedule 27-9-5 for a franchise-record 59 points.
Koivu scored unassisted 1:19 into the game. Johnny Oduya blocked Koivu's shot, but the puck went in off Dallas defenseman Stephen Johns.
At 3:00, Eric Staal kept the puck on a 2-on-1 break and shot it between Niemi's legs.
Dumba scored at 4:01 on a wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle, and Stewart tipped in a shot by Jordan Schroeder to make it 4-0.
For Dallas, Roussel took a backhand pass from Radek Faksa in the slot and beat Kuemper with 7 seconds left in the opening period.
Klingberg assisted on both second-period goals, giving him eight points (two goals, six assists) in the last six games.
Klingberg sent a pass through a narrow opening to Devin Shore, and Shore passed to Hudler on the left side for his goal at 2:20. Less than four minutes later, the rebound of Jamie Benn's shot bounced to Seguin's skate. He put the puck on his backhand to score.
NOTES: Niemi entered the game 11-4-2 with a 1.94 goals against average against the Wild in his career. ... Staal has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his last five games. ... Mikael Granlund, who assisted on Dumba's goal, has at least one point (two goals, two assists) in each of Minnesota's three games against the Stars this season. ... Stewart's eighth goal equaled his total from last season. ... Benn has 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists) in 29 career games vs. Minnesota.
Wild: Finish a quick two-game trip on Sunday at Chicago. It will be the first game this season between the Western Conference co-leaders.
Stars: Begin a three-game Eastern trip at Buffalo on Monday afternoon.