Dallas meets Minnesota tonight in a rematch from Monday night’s disastrous defeat. Monday’s loss pushed Dallas back down to tenth in the western conference. With a huge amount of Pacific Division games on the horizon Dallas needed to start winning and looked to start tonight.
Dallas opened the game establishing control of the puck in the Minnesota zone as they were sending a message to Wild goaltender Matt Hackett that tonight was not gonna be an easy game. Dallas’ pressure paid off early as Mikko Koivu took an early period penalty that put Dallas on their first powerplay of the game. Off an offensive face-off win by Jamie Benn, Ray Whitney had a slap shot set up for him and he fired the puck past Hackett for his sixth goal of the season. Dallas continued to apply offensive zone pressure and soon were rewarded with another goal at the 7:31 mark of the period when Tomas Vincour scored his second goal of the season. Dallas looked to have dominated the period outshooting the Wild 17-7 , but a costly mistake by Alex Goligoski led to a Wild goal as noted Stars killer Devin Setoguchi scored goal number twelve this season at the 18:48 mark or the period. The first period ended with the Stars up 2-1.
It was another struggling second period for the Stars as Minnesota bounced back this period, and Dallas continued with their second period woes. The Wild tied the game on the powerplay off Jared Sturgeon’s fifth goal of the season after an undisciplined roughing minor by Brenden Dillon. Minnesota carried the momentum this period and until the final minutes when Dallas made an offensive push and the trio of Eric Nystrom, Jamie Benn and Jaromir Jagr almost took the lead right back, but outstanding saves by Matt Hackett kept the game tied at two after two periods.
Dallas immediately went on the attack in the Minnesota zone to open the third and it didn’t take them long to score as Eric Cole scored his sixth goal of the season and third as a Star just over a minute into the third period. Soon after the goal Minnesota got into penalty trouble as Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter were both called for seperate minors at the same time giving Dallas an early period 5-on-3 man advantage. It took Dallas only 10 seconds into the first powerplay to score as Jaromir Jagr passed to Ray Whitney, who drew two of the Minnesota defenders, passed to Jamie Benn who shot the puck into a wide open net as Hackett had commited to Whitney taking a shot. Benn’s goal was his seventh of the season and first in over a month, and the second assist which went to Jaromir Jagr was career assist number 1,000. Minnesota could not stay out of penalty trouble and their penalty kill didn’t bail them out. Dallas’ powerplay struck again at the 12:40 mark of the period as Cody Eakin scored his sixth goal of the season. Soon after the Eakin goal, Minnesota’s fourth line came out and was looking to let out some frustration. Zenon Konopka grabbed a hold of Reilly Smith and after trying to shove him into the Wild bench, Konopka dropped his gloves and started throwing punches causing all players from both teams on the ice to get involved. The scrum resulted in three game misconducts as Zenon Konopka was sent away, as was Mike Rupp from Minnesota who was throwing punches at Jaromir Jagr trying to draw him into a fight, Antoine Roussel was given a game misconduct as a result of coming to the aide of Reilly Smith. Soon after the big scrum ensued Eric Nystrom was on the ice for the Stars and looking to respond to Minnesota’s aggresive play and challenged defenseman Justin Falk to a fight, as the Stars were not gonna end this game quietly. The rest of the period went without a spark as Minnesota did score another goal at the 19:00 mark, but Dallas’ big push on the powerplay in the third sealed the fate of the Minnesota Wild as Dallas wins this one 5-3.
- Congratulations to Mike Modano as he was named a member of the Dallas Stars’ 20th anniversary team
- Congratulations to Jaromir Jagr as the 12th player in NHL history to record 1,000 assist, and the first European born player.
- Richard Bachman recorded the win tonight. Kari Lehtonen was having an equipment issue in the third period and Richard Bachman came in relief. While Bachman was on the ice, Jamie Benn scored what would become the game-winning goal thus giving Bachman the win. Bachman played for two minutes and thirty-two seconds and didn’t face a shot on goal.
- Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, and Ryan Suter, three of Minnesota’s best players combined for 1 point and four minor penalties.
- Scoring Streaks: Jaromir Jagr’s four game goal streak came to an end, but he pushed his point streak to five games with assist 1,000 tonight.
- Jamie Benn’s goal tonight was his first since the Gordie Howe Hat Trick game against San Jose.
- Official Game Attendance- 17,376
- Official Three Stars of the game chosen by Mike Heika Dallas Stars Beat Writer for the Dallas Morning News: 1. Jaromir Jagr 2. Jamie Benn 3. Ray Whitney
- It’s an Easter showdown for the Stars in their next game as they continue their homestand against the Los Angeles Kings, puck drop at 5:00