Wild Drops Series Finale in Dallas

Thomas B. Shea

Mike Modano's number 9 was lifted into the rafters and Minnesota loses a tough, physical game to the Stars.

As if Minnesota needed to go in to Dallas against a motivated Stars team, it also was Mike Modano night. The long time North Star/Dallas Star center had his number immortalized in the rafters of American Airlines Center during a pregame ceremony before a sold-out record crowd of 19,109.

Dallas wouldn't waste any time getting the arena rocking with a Jamie Benn goal just 31 seconds into the game. The Wild came out of the gate a little on their heels, but would get stronger as the period would wear on. Erik Haula tied the game with a short-handed tally of his own that resembled his first NHL goal that came against Dallas on Hockey Day Minnesota.

The Stars would pot another one early in the second. Darcy Keumper thought he made the save and had the puck in his equipment, but it squirted behind him and Alex Chiasson tapped it home for the 2-1 lead. The Wild struggled mightily on the power play tonight. They struggled to hold and enter the zone as Dallas pressured hard on the point-men all night. The Wild finally scored as Charlie Coyle nets his 7th of the season. Newly acquired Matt Moulson would get his first point as a member of the Wild on Coyle's goal.

The second period also saw both teams ratchet up the physicality. Matt Cooke took out Valleri Nichushkin with a hip/knee-on-knee check. Nichushkin left the ice with a limp. That physicality spilled over into the third period.

Kyle Brodziak put the Wild on top for the first time in the game. A turnover inside the Dallas zone and a Cooke screen made the score 3-2. A scary moment then happened as Erik Haula made a strong move to the net, got tripped up and plowed into Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen like a runningback trying to run over a linebacker. Haula would receive a five minute major penalty for charging and a game misconduct. Lehtonen would leave the game and Tim Thomas would be asked to finish the game. Tyler Seguin scored the game-tying goal with less than 30 seconds left on the major penalty.

As the Wild were pressuring in the Stars' zone, Keith Ballard would attempt a D-to-D pass along the blueline. The pass was read beautifully by Eric Cole and he would score on Keumper on a breakaway to put Dallas up for good as Thomas would stop all six shots faced.

as  MIN DAL

Shots                    35   38

Power Plays 1/4 2/5
Hits 16 29
Faceoff Wins 34 32
Giveaways 9 13
Takeaways 7 9
Blocked Shots 16 12
Penalty Minutes 21 8

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