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Wild 5, Stars 1

The SportsXchange

SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- Rookies Matt Dumba and Justin Fontaine scored their first NHL goals as the Minnesota Wild cruised to a 5-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.

Matt Cooke, Nino Niederreiter and Zach Parise also scored for the Wild, who improved to 2-1-2.

Dallas, playing without mainstay goalie Kari Lehtonen, fell behind 4-0 as backup netminder Dan Ellis looked unsteady at times. Jordie Benn scored the only goal for the Stars, who are now 2-2-0.

The Wild emerged from the opening 20 minutes up 2-0.

Fontaine, well-known to hockey fans in the region after helping Minnesota Duluth win a NCAA title in St. Paul in 2011, set a Wild franchise record for the fastest goal at the start of a game, slipping a harmless-looking backhand shot between Ellis' knees just 12 seconds in.

Midway through the opening period, Cooke's offensive effectiveness continued. He beat Ellis from the side of the net, giving the Minnesota newcomer three goals in his first five games for the Wild.

Dumba got a power play goal in the second to make it 3-0, off a cross-ice pass from Dany Heatley. The Wild's first-round draft pick in 2012, Dumba played in three of Minnesota's five games, with significant ice time.

After Niederreiter got his first goal as a member of the Wild, Benn scored on a power play to quash Minnesota goalie Josh Harding's bid for a shutout. Harding finished with 18 saves in his second start of the season. Parise scored on a power play late in the third period.

It was the first start of the season for Ellis, who came on in relief of Lehtonen in the Stars' 4-1 win in Winnipeg on Friday. Lehtonen is officially listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury, forcing the Stars to recall Jack Campbell from their AHL affiliate. Ellis made 31 saves in the loss.

NOTES: Wild G Niklas Backstrom was a full participant in the team's most recent practice, but he has not made his way back between the pipes for a game yet. Backstrom suffered a strained knee in Minnesota's 3-2 loss in Nashville last week. ... Stars G Dan Ellis had not started a game for Dallas in nearly a decade. He made his NHL debut with the Stars on Feb. 18, 2004, and then played for the Predators, Lightning, Ducks and Hurricanes before inking a two-year deal with Dallas during the summer. ... After back-to-back road games, the Stars get a few nights off before facing the Avalanche in Denver on Tuesday. The Wild head out on their first extended road trip of the season with a game in Buffalo on Monday. They will visit Toronto, Tampa Bay and Florida as well. ... The Stars, who played their first 26 seasons in Minnesota, might have felt somewhat at home Saturday. Twenty years after the team moved to Texas, Minnesota North Stars apparel is still quite popular at Wild home games and in the arena's team store.
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