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game recap

Wild blow four-goal lead, hang on for win

Defeat Stars to move into first place in Central Division

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- Jason Zucker scored with 6:45 remaining in the third period to give the Minnesota Wild a 5-4 win against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Saturday.

Minnesota led 4-0 in the first period. Dallas tied it 4-4 on a power-play goal by John Klingberg with 8:47 left.

"Yeah, that shows the resiliency we have as a group," Zucker said. "Obviously, we don't want to let in four goals at any point, but we still feel that we have the confidence to win those games. I think we showed that tonight."

 

WATCH: All Wild vs. Stars highlights

 

Mikael Granlund stole the puck from Jordie Benn and put a shot that deflected off Zucker and into the net. There was a brief review, but it was ruled the puck crossed the line before the net came off the moorings.

"We got a little turnover there and I got the puck and I just tried to put it to the net," Granlund said. "It hit their goalie and hit [Zucker] and then it went in. So we'll take it."

Minnesota (27-9-5) took a 3-0 lead in the first 4:00 and went up 4-0 at 12:45.

Antoine Roussel, Jiri Hudler and Seguin scored for Dallas (18-18-8).

Mikko Koivu made it 1-0 at 1:19 of the first period when his shot was blocked by Stephen Johns but was inadvertently put into the net by Stars defenseman Johnny Oduya.

Eric Staal pushed the lead to 2-0 at 3:00 on a 2-on-1. He beat Antti Niemi with a wrist shot that went through the five-hole. Matt Dumba scored at 4:00 on a wrist shot. Niemi was pulled with zero saves on three shots.

Minnesota went ahead 4-0 aganst Kari Lehtonen when Chris Stewart finished off a cross-crease pass from Jordan Schroeder.

"Obviously four goals in the first period is not acceptable," Klingberg said. "It's kind of tough. Obviously we showed a lot of heart … but it's tough and we've got to learn from this. This is a tough league coming from behind."

Roussel scored with seven seconds left in the first period on a rush to make it 4-1. Hudler scored his second goal of the season at 2:20 of the second period, and Seguin made it 4-3 when he scored on a rebound at 6:06 of the second.

Klingberg tied the game when his point shot deflected off Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and past goalie Darcy Kuemper.

 

Goal of the game

Zucker's goal helped the Wild move into first place in the Central Division and the Western Conference. Minnesota is tied with the Chicago Blackhawks at 59 points with four games in hand.  

Video: MIN@DAL: Zucker deflects Granlund's pass into the net

 

Save of the game

Kuemper stopped Patrick Eaves with 5:40 remaining and Minnesota held on to the lead after Zucker's goal.

"The guys put us in the position to win. At that point you are just worried about making the saves you need to make," Kuemper said.

 

Highlight of the game

Stewart's goal came on a sharp pass from Schroeder.

Video: MIN@DAL: Stewart puts home Schroeder's great pass

 
They said it

"Yeah, always [that adds some spice to the game]. That's where we want to be. We want to be at the top, want to make teams chase us. We're going to push the pace against all these teams, make sure that we're playing our game and they've got to keep up with us. That's the way we want to play. Should be exciting." -- Wild forward Jason Zucker on moving into first place

 

"If you look at the last two first periods, our focus hasn't been good enough. We fell asleep on the faceoff. We gave up a 2-on-1 on a giveaway in the neutral zone. We dove in the neutral zone and gave Staal his 2-on-1. Once we got through the first 15 minutes we found our game again. But it's tough when you get down the way we got down." -- Stars coach Lindy Ruff

 

Need to know

The Stars recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth from his conditioning stint Saturday but he was scratched. Nemeth played four games with Texas of the American Hockey League and was recalled after Jamie Oleksiak injured his hand.

 

What's next

Wild: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Stars: At the Buffalo Sabres on Monday (1 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Zucker's third-period goal lifts Wild past Stars, 5-4

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