"I thought really all levels were fine and we got rewarded," Ruff
said. "That was a key goal by (Vernon) Fiddler and then the power
play kicked in a couple."
The Stars won for just the second time in 2014, getting two assists
from defenseman Alex Goligoski. Goalie Kari Lehtonen made 18 saves
to earn his second shutout of the season and 24th of his career.
"They (our defense) just played really well," Lehtonen said. "It was
nice to be back there. The third goal was huge. It settled things
even more and made it less stressful for me."
Dallas (22-20-8) struck first when center Vernon Fiddler beat Wild
goaltender Darcy Kuemper with a wrister from the high slot at 13:18
of the opening period. Fiddler's shot whistled over the glove of
Kuemper for his third goal of the season.
The Stars added a second goal in the first period when left winger
Erik Cole scored his 14th as Dallas was on the power play at 16:45
of the first period. Cole's wrister from the left faceoff circle
sailed into the far side of the Wild net over Kuemper's glove.
Goligoski picked up his second assist of the game on the power-play
goal. Dallas went on the power play after Minnesota right winger
Justin Fontaine was called for delay of game at 15:53.
The Stars outshot the Wild 12-3 in the first period.
"We have to execute better. This game goes in the garbage," Wild
coach Mike Yeo said. "We didn't execute. We didn't defend. We were
passengers. We were spectators through the whole game."
Dallas added a third goal and their second power-play goal of the
night at 13:18 of the second when left winger Ray Whitney faked out
Kuemper with some stellar stick work at the far post for his sixth
of the season. Whitney drew Kuemper to the ice by faking to his
forehand and skated around the Wild netminder before slipping the
puck over the line to make it 3-0.
Once again, the Stars were on the power play due to a penalty on
Fontaine, who was called for high-sticking at 11:20.
"The entries are clean," Ruff said of his power play. "We're getting
into the zone. Then one or two passes and we're going to the net. We
were able to make a couple of plays."
Through two periods, Dallas was outshooting Minnesota 28-9.
[to top of second column]
The Wild (27-20-5) generated their best chance to break the
shutout at 10:43 of the third when left winger Jason Zucker rang
a wrister off the left post.
"They brought more energy, kind of frustrated us a little bit in
not giving us time and space," Minnesota right winger Jason
Pominville said. "We weren't able to generate enough quality
scoring chances to win a game."
Dallas added a fourth goal at 11:22 of the third when defenseman
Jordie Benn beat Kuemper on a penalty shot. Benn was awarded the
penalty shot after Kuemper slid his stick across the ice as Benn
was streaking toward the Wild net from the left corner of the
"(My last penalty shot was) probably my second or third year in
the minors," Benn said. "I did that exact move, and it worked.
That's the only move I have, the only one I've ever tried, and
it worked again."
Kuemper stopped 32 shots for the Wild, who were outshot 36-18.
"We can't keep getting doubled up on shots and expect to have
good results," Minnesota center Kyle Brodziak said. "Yeah, it's
a collective effort. We need to better every single area of the
NOTES: Wild G Niklas Backstrom (lower body), D Jonathon Blum and
C Mike Rupp were scratched by Minnesota. ... Stars D Kevin
Connauton and C Dustin Jeffrey were scratched by Dallas. ...
After a 4-1 loss at Nashville on Monday, Stars coach Lindy Ruff
called a 20-minute closed-door meeting in the Stars locker room
Tuesday morning, a meeting attended by Dallas general manager
Jim Nill. ... The first-period goal by Stars C Vernon Fiddler,
his third of the season, was his first since Nov. 5, 2013, at
Boston, a span of 28 games. ... Wild G Darcy Kuemper was making
his fifth straight start in net for Minnesota. ... Dallas
Cowboys QB Tony Romo was in attendance. ... The Stars scored
multiple power-play goals for just the fourth time this season.
... Representatives from four different NHL teams were in the
press box. ... Announced attendance was 11,191.
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