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game recap

Wild rally, defeat Stars on late Eriksson Ek goal

Scores second of night with 27 seconds left in Minnesota's third straight win

by Josh Clark / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Eriksson Ek's late go-ahead goal

MIN@DAL: Eriksson Ek tucks home go-ahead goal in 3rd

Joel Eriksson Ek grabs the puck from behind the net and scores on a wraparound to give the Wild a 3-2 lead late in the 3rd period

  • 00:47 •

DALLAS -- Joel Eriksson Ek scored his second goal of the game for the Minnesota Wild with 27 seconds remaining in a come-from-behind 3-2 win against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Friday.

After Jonas Brodin's shot from the left face-off circle hit the side of the net, Eriksson Ek retrieved the puck and scored on a wraparound at the right post.

"I saw the goalie (Ben Bishop) was on the far post, so I was trying to get it to the other side as quickly as possible," Eriksson Ek said.

 

[WATCH: All Wild vs. Stars highlights]

 

Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves for the Wild (26-22-6), who have won three games in a row and are 6-2-0 in their past eight. Minnesota, which was coming off a 4-2 victory against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, trailed 2-0 in the second period.

"It's nice," said Dubnyk, who made his first start since allowing six goals in a 6-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Feb. 1. "You're obviously trying to stay with it, and you have to remind yourself how big these games and points are, so you want to be sharp.

"It was a [Stanley Cup] Playoff-like third period, and I haven't had a ton of those this year, so it was nice to see the guys continue to swarm. To see one get in there was a pretty good feeling."

Video: MIN@DAL: Eriksson Ek banks puck home to trim deficit

Denis Gurianov scored his fourth goal in six games for the Stars (30-19-5), who are 3-2-1 in that span. Bishop made 27 saves.

"Not good enough for this time of year against a team that's chasing you," Dallas forward Andrew Cogliano said. "They're a pretty solid team in terms of coming off of a back-to-back (2-3-1 in second game). I thought they got better as the game went on."

Joe Pavelski scored on the power play at 15:28 of the first period to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.

Dallas outshot Minnesota 16-12 in the first.

"The power play got a big goal for us, and on the second one, they were moving the puck really well," Stars coach Rick Bowness said about their two goals. "We had more good looks in that first period than we've had in a long time, we just didn't put the puck in the net at the right times. Give their goalie credit."

Gurianov made it 2-0 with a one-timer from the right circle at 2:51 of the second, one second after a tripping penalty against Eriksson Ek expired. It was his 15th goal of the season, tying him with Roope Hintz and Alexander Radulov for the Stars lead.

"I saw [Wild forward Jordan Greenway fall while defending Miro Heiskanen] and I was waiting for him," Gurianov said. "Great job by Miro to pass me the puck, and I shot it."

Eriksson Ek got the Wild within 2-1 at 8:25 of the second when the puck went in off his skate near the right post.

"He's grown and matured," Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Last year, he got a lot more responsibility in the last half of the year. This year, he's continued to not only gain more responsibility, but want and accept it."

Ryan Donato tied the game 2-2 when he scored from the bottom of the right circle at 12:09 of the second.

"These are important points for us," Eriksson Ek said. "We have to put more games together and keep winning, and this was a step in the right direction."

Radek Faksa had a chance to put the Stars ahead with a shot from the slot on the power play in the third period, but Dubnyk moved across the crease and made the save with his blocker.

"It was such a big game for him, and he deserved it," Boudreau said of Dubnyk, who earned his second win in five starts since Jan. 12. "He saved our bacon with about four minutes to go when they were on the power play and made a tremendous save. Hopefully, that's the start of something good for him."

Video: MIN@DAL: Donato scores from tough angle

 

They said it

"It was a huge win. We knew that coming in here and playing a rested team that we had beat pretty good the time before (7-0 at Minnesota on Jan. 18) it was going to be a real man's game tonight. Then you get behind 2-0, but I still thought we were there. Once we got the one goal, the bench livened up and I knew they were going to be in for a tussle the whole game." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

"I thought we had a good start, and that's important down the stretch here. You've got to win that game and get to overtime. Like I said, they gained steam as the game went on, and I don't think that's acceptable from us as we're fresh and they're on a back-to-back. They earned the win in the third." -- Stars forward Andrew Cogliano

 

Need to know

Wild forward Zach Parise played his 1,000th NHL game. ... Kevin Fiala had an assist on Donato's goal and has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past five games. ... Minnesota won three of four games in the season series (Wild, 3-1-0; Stars 1-2-1). ... Pavelski has five points (four goals, one assist) during a season-high four-game point streak. ... Radulov did not play in the third period because of an upper-body injury.

 

What's next

Wild: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Stars: At the St. Louis Blues on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-SW+, NHL.TV)

Video: Eriksson Ek, Wild rally past Stars

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