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game recap

Wild top Stars, pad lead for third in Central

Dallas remains five points from playoff spot with four games left

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Zach Parise scored two goals to help the Minnesota Wild increase their lead in the Central Division race with a 5-2 win against the Dallas Stars at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

Defenseman Matt Dumba had an NHL career-high four points (one goal, three assists), Mikael Granlund had a goal and two assists, and Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves for Minnesota, which won for the first time in three games (1-0-2).

The Wild (43-24-10) lead the St. Louis Blues by five points for third place in the Central.

 

[WATCH: All Stars vs. Wild highlights]

 

"It's something we talked about, pushing more teams, making that gap even bigger and pushing more teams down," Parise said. "We know it's going to be a tough game for us in Dallas (on Saturday), but we got the first one (in this home-and-home)."

Jamie Benn and Devin Shore scored for the Stars, who have lost nine of 10 games (1-7-2) and eight straight road games.

Video: DAL@MIN: Benn fires home Seguin's great pass

Dallas (39-31-8) is five points behind the Anaheim Ducks for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with four games remaining.

"It's frustrating every game when you miss chances," forward Jason Spezza said. "I thought we created a lot. ... Pressure is what everyone's playing under this time of year. We know that we had to win tonight, and I don't think that played into why we missed our chances though."

Tyler Seguin got the puck behind the Wild net after a turnover by defenseman Nate Prosser and passed to the slot for Benn, who gave the Stars a 1-0 lead on their first shot 2:51 into the game.

Granlund scored shorthanded 13 seconds into a four-minute penalty against Ryan Murphy for high sticking to tie it 1-1 at 16:02. It was Granlund's 20th goal, first since he scored twice in an 8-3 win against the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 27.

Video: DAL@MIN: Granlund rips home shorthanded goal

Dumba one-timed a pass from defenseman Ryan Suter to put the Wild ahead 2-1 at 7:19 of the second period. Parise scored 59 seconds later off a backhanded pass from Granlund to make it 3-1 at 8:18.

Shore got Dallas to within 3-2 with a redirection of a Dan Hamhuis shot at 9:42.

Jason Zucker scored a power-play goal with 11 seconds remaining in the second to make it 4-2.

Parise scored into an empty net to make it 5-2 with 17 seconds remaining. He has four goals and two assists in a five-game point streak.

Video: DAL@MIN: Zucker rips one-timer past Lehtonen for PPG

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen made 17 saves.

"There's still a long way to go," Parise said. "I think there's, especially now, always areas of the game you want to improve and get better at and get everything going the right direction at the right time. But to get the points, that's been important to give ourselves a chance and some breathing room."

 

Goal of the game

Dumba's goal at 7:19 of the second period.

Video: DAL@MIN: Dumba blasts home one-timer for PPG

 

Save of the game

Dubnyk stopping Spezza at 17:58 of the third period.

Video: DAL@MIN: Dubnyk makes multiple saves on Spezza

 

Highlight of the game

Parise's goal at 8:18 of the second period.

Video: DAL@MIN: Granlund sets up Parise for sweet goal

 

They said it

"Yeah, it's frustrating. We just gotta find a way to stick with it. We know there's plays inside the game we could've done a better job at. … Their goalie made some big saves and we had some opportunities we didn't cash in on, so yeah, let's watch the video and go home." -- Stars forward Tyler Seguin

 

"It's getting closer as we get more points, but still when I wake up tomorrow, I'm going to say we're going to have to win two more games maybe, because our [regulation/overtime wins] aren't as high as some of the other teams. … You're still scoreboard watching. From tonight's game, I think the [Los Angeles] Kings play later on tonight, and tomorrow when we don't play, we'll be watching the other teams." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on constantly monitoring the standings

 

Need to know

Stars defenseman Stephen Johns did not play after the first period because of a possible concussion, coach Ken Hitchcock said. ... Wild defenseman Gustav Olofsson left the game at 7:38 of the second period with an upper-body injury. Boudreau said he is "very questionable" to make the trip to Dallas for the game Saturday. ... Seguin has 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in his past 18 games. ... Benn has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his past nine games. ... With two assists, Suter set an NHL career high and Wild record for most assists by a defenseman in a single season (45). He previously set the record in 2015-16, when he had 43 assists. ... The Wild are 12-4-3 in the past 19 games, allowing two goals or fewer in nine of the past 12.

 

What's next

Stars: Host the Minnesota Wild on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-SW+, FS-N+, NHL.TV)

Wild: At the Dallas Stars on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-SW+, FS-N+, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Parise, Dumba propel Wild to 5-2 win against Stars

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