Goals by Nino Niederreiter and Marco Scandella were enough to obtain a point from the best team in the Western Conference, as John Klingberg's goal at 3:18 won the game for the Dallas Stars. The Wild was able to answer an early Stars' goal in the first period and an early one in the third period to force overtime. Even in a loss, the Minnesota got a much needed point in the standings to keep pace with the Central's best teams.
Wild need wins with players out because of injury,
A ton of importance is placed on the results of games, and in professional sports, they should be. But when the team is eeking out ugly win after ugly win, the winning despite not playing well will usually tend to catch up.
Minnesota got off to a slow start and relied heavily on their netminder Devan Dubnyk to keep the score tight. Three penalties in the first period to the league's best offense, and second best power play was the wrong way to help your goaltender out. Jason Spezza tipped a Klingberg shot just as the Wild's first penalty expired. Even though the Wild finished 3-for-4 on the penalty kill on the stat sheet, the Dallas power play was basically 50 percent because Chris Porter hadn't made it back into the play to make a difference.
It was tough for the Wild to muster anything towards the net on its power play chances. Dallas was blocking shots, and the Wild were over-passing. That's not to say Kari Lehtonen was bad in net for the Stars. He made some big-time great saves on some really great Wild scoring chances. Jason Pominville still has yet to score. He had the puck on his stick in the crease with a wide open net to shoot at, but a Stars defenseman was able to make a skate save at the last second to deny him of his first of the season.
The Wild had to kill off 15 seconds of a penalty that carried over from the first period, but then the Wild played a much better game and much more disciplined. They finally got good zone time and forced the Stars to fight to get through the Wild forecheck. At 5:15 of the period, Jared Spurgeon's shot from the point was deflected out front by Niederreiter. The goal was challenged by Lindy Ruff for goaltender interference, but no contact was made with Lehtonen and the officials confirmed a good goal. Minnesota and Dallas would continue to trade chances and Dubnyk was stellar.
Jaime Benn scored early on a Stars power play in the third period to give the Stars a late lead. The Wild would need to fight through the speedy Stars to get the equalizer. Marco Scandella, in his first game (and night) back with the team after dealing with personal issues for a week, was able to be the guy to tie the game up with a slapper that deflected off a Stars' skate and past Lehtonen. Hopefully that helps him with whatever it was he was dealing with. Both teams against would trade chance after chance but both goaltenders were really good.
In overtime, the Wild seemed to give up 2-on-1 after 2-on-1 and it was ultimately Klingberg that would end the game after a feed from Tyler Seguin with Ryan Suter defending but choosing to take Seguin and leaving Klingberg alone.