ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild got all the offense
they needed against Dallas in one period.
Manny Fernandez had 31 saves and Minnesota scored four
first-period goals against Ron Tugnutt as the Wild beat the Stars
4-2 on Wednesday night.
Minnesota scored all of its goals in a 7:44 span, the biggest
coming on a short-handed goal by Filip Kuba that put the Wild up
2-0 and deflated the Stars, who had a chance to tie the game on a
four-minute power play.
"That was huge for us,'' Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "Any
time the team gets a short-handed goal there, the guys feel good
Minnesota avenged a 5-0 loss at Dallas on Nov. 27.
Tugnutt, coming off back-to-back shutouts, lasted only one
period and stopped only six of the 10 shots he faced. Corey Hirsch
stopped all nine shots he faced in relief of Tugnutt, who had been
playing brilliantly in place of the injured Marty Turco.
In 20 starts before Wednesday's game, Tugnutt was 11-5-3 with a
"None of the goals were Ron's fault,'' Dallas coach Dave
Tippett said. "We didn't play very well in front of him.''
Mike Modano said the Wild simply played with more energy.
"We were a little bit surprised in the first,'' the Stars
center said. "They had a lot of jump and we were pretty flat.''
Darby Hendrickson, who missed 45 games with a broken arm, ended
Tugnutt's shutout streak at 128:40 when he scored his first goal in
more than a year.
"It was good for him,'' Lemaire said. "I think getting this
goal will get him back where he should be.''
The Wild came into the game tied with Anaheim for the sixth
playoff spot in the Western Conference while the Stars remained one
point behind Ottawa for the NHL's best record and home-ice
But the Wild offense seemed flat after the first, as Dallas
outshot Minnesota 24-9 the rest of the way.
"I think we had a good first period,'' Laaksonen said. "That
won the game for us, there's no buts about it. But we've got to
play for 60 minutes.''
Dallas, which outshot the Wild 13-3 in the third, finally scored
1:03 into the final period during a five-on-three power play when
Jere Lehtinen slapped in a rebound off Jason Arnott's shot. Arnott
then pulled the Stars within two after poking the puck past
Fernandez during a battle in front of the net at 6:57.
The Stars had a chance to make it a one-goal game when Fernandez
was called for roughing with 10:32 remaining. Pierre-Marc Bouchard
served the penalty, but the Wild killed off the power play.
"We had some great chances and some good looks at the net in
the third,'' Modano said. "We could've easily tied it up.''
Fernandez is unbeaten in his last six games, going 5-0-1.
Hendrickson sparked Minnesota's four-goal outburst 7:14 into the
first period. Streaking in from the left side, Hendrickson slapped
a hard shot from the left circle past Tugnutt's stick.
Kuba notched his goal with 8:17 left.
Stationed to the right of the net, Brunette tipped in Cliff
Ronning's shot from just inside the blue line with 5:12 left in the
opening period to make it 3-0. Then, one minute later, Laaksonen
took a pretty pass from Richard Park and flipped the puck from the
slot over Tugnutt, bringing chants of "Sit! Sit!'' from the
Hendrickson's last goal came against Dallas on March 8,
2002. ... The Wild have scored four goals in a period three times.
The most recent came March 10, 2002 in a 5-0 win over the Columbus
Blue Jackets. ... Minnesota Vikings running back Michael Bennett
led the crowd in the traditional "Let's Play Hockey!'' chant. ...
Dallas C Stu Barnes, acquired from Buffalo on Monday, picked up his
second penalty with the Stars, a 2:00 minor for tripping in the
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Xcel Energy Center Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Referees: Brad Watson Linesmen: Dan McCourt, Tim Nowak