The Dallas Stars pulled to within two points of eighth place in the Western Conference with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Minnesota Wild Saturday night at American Airlines Center. Kari Lehtonen stopped 33 shots in regulation and overtime and two of three in the shootout. Mike Ribeiro scored in regulation and Loui Eriksson and Jamie Benn scored in the shootout. The Stars were 1-2 on the power play and 4-4 on the penalty kill in the game.
The Stars came out with a physical edge to their game, outhitting the Wild 16-9. The Wild had the advantage in shots, 13-10, and both teams had some quality scoring chances. Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen looked very sharp and had a couple of nice stops on Wild forward Dany Heatley. The Wild had the only power play of the period.
The Stars’ penalty kill came up big in the second, thwarting two Minnesota power plays in the first 11:30 of the period.
The Stars got an excellent chance with a little more than seven minutes left in the period, but Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom made a sharp stop on Michael Ryder’s bid from the right circle on an odd-man rush.
The Stars got their first power play with 6:07 left in the second and cashed in to take a 1-0 lead. After an Alex Goligoski shot rebounded off the endboards, Mike Ribeiro got the puck and put it over a sprawling Backstrom with 4:48 left in the period.
Minnesota’s Kyle Brodziak had a one-on-one chance against Lehtonen with 2:54 remaining in the period, but all he could get off was a weak backhand shot.
The Wild tied the game at 5:18 of the third. After a Jake Dowell turnover in the Dallas zone, Nick Johnson set up Brodziak, who got a point blank chance and lifted the puck over Stars Lehtonen to knot the game at 1-1.
Minnesota got their fourth power play of the night with 1:07 left in regulation, but couldn’t score and had 53 seconds of PP time when overtime began.
The Wild couldn’t take advantage of their 53 second four-on-three power play.
The Stars got a power play – their second of the game – with 55.4 seconds remaining, but the Stars couldn’t take advantage and the game headed to the shootout.
Loui Eriksson and Jamie Benn scored in the shootout for the Stars and Kari Lehtonen stopped two of three to give the Stars the 2-1 victory.
Injured: Morrow (neck/shoulder)
Scratched: Fistric, Pardy, Petersen