ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jason Robertson had his second hat trick of the weekend and the Dallas Stars outlasted the Minnesota Wild 6-3 on Sunday to take over the top wild-card position in the Western Conference.
Robertson, a 22-year-old American left winger who has cemented his place on Dallas' top line, is up to 29 goals on the season, seven of which have come in the last three games. He's the first NHL player to record back-to-back hat tricks since Washington's Alex Ovechkin in January 2020.
A 2017 second-round pick by the Stars, Robertson had a slow start this season because of injury, but has led a Dallas resurgence into postseason contention. He now has 54 points on the season and is the team leader in goals.
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the last player to record consecutive hat tricks prior to his 23rd birthday was Filip Forsberg in February 2017. The previous two to achieve that feat before Forsberg are both in the Hockey Hall of Fame: Eric Lindros and Teemu Selanne.
"I'm just glad we won the game and didn't blow that lead," Robertson said. "At the end of the day, it's pretty neat. Still kind of feel bad for letting them back in the game."
Joe Pavelski and Jamie Benn also scored for Dallas, and Riley Tufte added his first NHL goal. Jake Oettinger had 32 saves for the Stars, who also tied the Wild for the third playoff position in the Central Division.
The Stars have won four in a row and seven of their last nine. The Wild have lost eight of their last 10 games. In the loss, Kirill Kaprizov scored twice and Nico Sturm added a goal. Kaapo Kahkonen gave up four goals on 21 shots before being pulled midway through the second period. He was replaced by Cam Talbot, who stopped all three shots he faced.
Trailing 4-1, the Wild pulled Talbot for an extra skater with just under nine minutes to play, and Kaprizov cut the deficit to 4-2 on a wrist shot with 3:41 remaining. Kaprizov scored his second of the game with 1:57 to play.
But Benn finally put it away for the Stars when he sent the puck the length of the ice into the empty net with about a minute left, and Robertson got his third goal with another empty-netter with 32 seconds to play. The Stars had a few looks at an open net, and Oettinger even joked in his postgame availability that he was thinking about giving it a shot.
"I never think about it usually. Today, I thought about it," he said. "I don't move the puck very well, so I don't think I would have got it. But go for it, might as well. None of our guys seemed to want to score it."
Minnesota outshot the Stars 6-0 in the game's first four minutes. Sturm scored his ninth goal of the season midway through the period.
The Stars tied it with a disputed power-play goal in the final seconds of the first, when Tyler Seguin crashed the net for a shot that Kahkonen stopped. The puck bounced out to Pavelski, whose backhanded swipe banked off Minnesota's Dmitry Kulikov and into the net.
Minnesota coach Dean Evason challenged the call, claiming goaltender interference. But officials ruled that Seguin was knocked into the crease by the Wild's Frederick Gaudreau and the goal was allowed to stand.
The Stars opened the second period on another power play and capitalized, as Robertson jammed home a rebound of a shot by John Klingberg.
Less than two minutes later, Kahkonen coughed up another rebound of a Klingberg shot, and Tufte fought off a defender to knock it into the net.
Dallas took a 4-1 lead midway through the second when Robertson fired a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that slipped under Kahkonen's armpit and trickled into the net.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.