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Stars score early and often in win over Wild

Sportsnaut
Dec 20, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (3) and Minnesota Wild right wing Ryan Hartman (38) battle for the puck during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 20, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (3) and Minnesota Wild right wing Ryan Hartman (38) battle for the puck during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Miro Heiskanen and Jamie Benn each had a goal and an assist to lead the Dallas Stars to a 7-4 victory over the visiting Minnesota Wild on Monday night.

Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz, Tyler Seguin, Esa Lindell and Jacob Peterson also scored for Dallas, which won for the 10th time in its last 11 home games. Jason Robertson and Denis Gurianov each added two assists while Jake Oettinger finished with 19 saves.

Kevin Fiala scored twice, Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists and Ryan Hartman finished with a goal and an assist for Central Division-leading Minnesota. Mats Zuccarello added two assists while Cam Talbot made 22 saves.

Dallas, which had dropped its four previous meetings against Minnesota including an ugly 7-2 loss on Nov. 18 in Saint Paul, Minn., jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first 3:24 on goals by Pavelski, who put in a rebound of Robertson shot inside the left post for his 12th goal of the season, and a shorthanded goal by Lindell, who intercepted Talbot’s clearing pass near center ice and then skated in and fired a wrist shot from the left circle through Talbot’s pads for his first goal.

Minnesota came back to tie it later in the period on Hartman’s team-leading 14th goal of the season, taking a Kaprizov pass in the slot and beating Oettinger on his blocker side, and Fiala’s fifth goal on a tap-in off a Marcus Foligno pass.

But the Stars regained the lead, 3-2, at the 16:43 mark on Seguin’s eighth goal of the season when he roofed a wrist shot from the right circle short-side off a Gurianov drop pass.

Hintz made it 4-2 midway through the second period with a power-play goal, firing a wrist shot from the left circle in off the far post for his 12th goal of the season. Kaprizov cut it to 4-3 near the end of the period with his 12th goal.

Minnesota nearly tied it early in the third period when Fiala fired a shot off the crossbar before Dallas broke the game open with two goals in 60 seconds. Peterson got the first, his fifth of the season, to make it 5-3 and Heiskanen followed with his fourth on a wrist shot from the left circle.

Minnesota coach Dean Evason then rolled the dice and pulled Talbot with 9:20 remaining. After Sequin hit the post on an empty net try, the Wild cut it to 6-4 on a six-on-four power play goal by Fiala off a Hartman feed from behind the net.

Benn then sealed it with an empty netter with 1:32 to go.

–Field Level Media