Stars 5, Wild 3

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars ended the Minnesota Wild's seven-game winning streak in impressive fashion, handing the Wild a 5-3 defeat before 17,376 at American Airlines Center just four days after the Wild had handed the Stars a 7-4 defeat on home ice.
Dallas got a goal and an assist each from Jamie Benn and Ray Whitney while veteran forward Jaromir Jagr became the 12th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 career assists when he assisted on Benn's power-play goal in the final period.
The Stars also got goals from Tomas Vincour, Erik Cole and Cody Eakin in the win. Kari Lehtonen stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced to earn his 13th win for Dallas.
Dallas led 2-1 after one period. And after the game was deadlocked at 2-2 at the second intermission, the Stars finished with three goals in the final period before Minnesota's Torrey Mitchell made it a 5-3 game with 1:00 remaining.
Whitney gave the Stars an early 1-0 lead when he beat Minnesota goaltender Matt Hackett with a 37-foot slapshot from near the right faceoff circle 4:14 into the opening period with the Stars on the power play.
Whitney gained possession after Benn won a draw with the Wild's Matt Cullen and with the puck fluttering just outside the right circle, Whitney quickly fired a shot over Hackett's blocker and into the left side of the net for his sixth of the season.
Dallas had gone on the power play when the Wild's Mikko Koivu was called for hooking the Stars' Vernon Fiddler after the Dallas center went hard into the left goalpost. Fiddler left the ice after that shift, his second of the game and did not return with a lower-body injury.
The Stars then went ahead 2-0 at 7:31 of the first when Vincour scored just his second goal of the year, knocking a deflection into the right side of the Wild net. Aaron Rome took the initial shot from distance, but his blast was tipped by Dallas rookie winger Reilly Smith. That deflection landed at the skates of Vincour, who flipped in a 6-foot wrister for the goal.
Minnesota shifted momentum in its favor when Devin Setoguchi pulled one back for the visitors with 1:12 left before the first intermission. Dallas defenseman Alex Goligoski committed a costly turnover in the Stars end, which was collected by Cullen.
After Cullen skated around the back of the Dallas net, he found a streaking Setoguchi with a backhand pass and Setoguchi sent a 12-foot wrister over Lehtonen's right shoulder to make it 2-1.
Through 20 minutes, Dallas led 2-1 and outshot the Wild, 17-7.
For the most part, the second frame was uneventful for both clubs, at least until Dallas rookie defenseman Brenden Dillon earned a roughing call at 14:44, putting Minnesota on the power play for the first time in the game.
The Wild converted just 32 seconds later, tying it up when Jared Spurgeon scored his fifth in the season off a rebound to make it 2-2. Kyle Brodziak took the initial shot, which Lehtonen stopped with a pad save, but Spurgeon collected the rebound and flicked a 22-foot wrister that struck the far post before landing in the back of the Dallas net.
However, the Stars had several quality chances to regain the lead late in the second.
Hackett denied Benn twice at close range and then made big stops on a long-range shot by Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas. He also stoned the Stars' Eric Nystrom on an attempt at the far post with 41 seconds left before the second intermission.
It was a 2-2 game after 40 minutes, but Dallas retook the lead just 1:02 into the final frame when Cole slipped a 23-foot snap from the slot past Hackett for his sixth of the year. Cole's primary shot had been denied by the Wild netminder, but he collected his own rebound and sent it into the left side of the Minnesota net to make it 3-2.
And after gaining a two-man advantage when Koivu was called for hooking and Ryan Suter was called for crosschecking at 2:00 of the final frame, the Stars regained their two-goal lead when Benn scored his seventh goal of the season with Dallas again on the power play.
Whitney and Jagr assisted on the goal, giving Jagr 1,000 career assist. Jagr slipped the puck to Whitney, who was at the near post. Whitney then passed it to Benn at the far post and he knocked in a 14-foot wrister to make it 4-2.
Eakin added an insurance tally with 7:20 remaining, his sixth of the season, when the young Dallas center scored on a seven-foot backhand to make it 5-2.
With 6:37 remaining before the final horn, things finally boiled over. Smith was dumped into the Wild bench by Minnesota's Mike Rupp. Dallas' Antoine Roussel dashed in to take up for his teammate and mixed it up with the Wild's Zenon Konopka.
Once order was restored, Smith earned a minor for roughing while Roussel got a 10-minute misconduct for Dallas. Konopka earned a double-minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct while Rupp earned a 10-minute misconduct.
Hackett stopped 28 of the 33 shots he faced for Minnesota, who will finish the back-to-back on Saturday night against the Kings in St. Paul. Dallas will host Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.
NOTES: Hackett, who was recalled from Houston of the American Hockey League on Thursday, made his first start of the season on Friday. Hackett's last start for the Wild came on March 25, 2012, at Washington. Hackett is the seventh rookie to play for Minnesota this season. ... Before the opening faceoff, Dallas honored franchise icon Mike Modano for his selection to the Stars' 20th Anniversary Team. Modano spent all but one of his 17 NHL seasons in Dallas and holds the record for most points by an American-born player (1,374)... Vincour's first-period goal was the Dallas winger's first tally since Jan. 26, 2013, against the Blues, a span of 11 games. ... Jim Craig, goaltender for Team USA that won the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics, was in attendance.

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