Alexander Radulov scored with 10 seconds left in overtime as the Dallas Stars defeated the Minnesota Wild, 2-1, at Xcel Energy Center to snap a four-game road losing streak.
After two scoreless periods, Stars captain Jamie Benn scored early in the third to give Dallas a 1-0 lead and the Wild's Jason Zucker tied it with 2:04 left in regulation.
The overtime was thrilling with the two teams trading chances including Minnesota's Zach Parise and Dallas' John Klingberg hitting posts eight seconds apart. Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen made a great defensive play to thwart a breakaway bid by Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon with just under a minute left in overtime.
And then with time winding down, Radulov fired a shot on net from the right circle that beat Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk to give the Stars the two points.
"It was back and forth. That was one of the more wild ones I was a part of," said Stars goaltender Ben Bishop. "I am just glad we came out on the right side of it."
"Everyone got their money's worth," said Stars coach Jim Montgomery. "That was a 2-on-1 contest. That's what is great about the NHL. You saw skill on display. You saw two goalies making great saves. And you saw forwards and defensemen making high-end plays."
Here are five things to know from Saturday's game.
1. Note to opponents: Don't mess with Polak
The turning point of Saturday's game probably happened before overtime, before a goal was even scored.
Stars defenseman Roman Polak, who was bloodied by a hit from Minnesota's Marcus Foligno in the second period, took exception to a hit from the Wild's Luke Kunin later in the period and went after the Minnesota forward, taking a roughing minor, an instigator minor, and a 10-minute misconduct to go along with a fighting major. That put the Wild on a four-minute power play in a scoreless game.
The Stars' penalty kill came up huge, allowing Minnesota just two shots with the man-advantage and, more important, preventing them from taking the lead.
"I give credit to Roman Polak because after his fight and that four-minute kill, it made our penalty kill desperate. We carried it off, and now we were in the fight," Montgomery said. "And it was a great game back and forth."
Video: Montgomery on Stars earning big OT win over Wild
2. Win gives Stars two big divisional points
The Stars have not played a lot within the Central Division so far this season, but when they have, they haven't fared well. Since beating Winnipeg in the second game of the season, the Stars had lost all five of their other games within the division, but Saturday's win gives them a 2-4-1 record in the Central.
Far from great, but they have to start somewhere if they are going to turn that record around.
"I am not going to lie, we've been struggling against division teams this season," said Radulov. "That was the mindset that we need to find a way to get points from a division rival. It's huge."
The win moved the Stars (18-15-3) two points ahead of the Wild (17-15-3), a team they are currently battling in the chase for a wild-card spot in the West.
Saturday's win pushed the Stars ahead of Edmonton and back into the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Stars are tied with the Oilers (18-15-3) at 39 points, and both teams have identical records, but the Stars hold the first tiebreaker, which is regulation/overtime wins (18-17).
Video: DAL@MIN: Benn crashes the net, slams puck home
3. A playoff-like duel between the pipes
Bishop and Dubnyk were both superb in the game. Bishop stopped 30 of 31 shots, and Dubnyk turned away 25 of 27.
Minnesota had a 20-1 advantage in shot attempts, including an 8-1 edge in shots on goal, a little more than 11 minutes into the game, so Bishop was busy early.
Dubnyk had to come up with some big saves in the first as well, stopping Denis Gurianov at the 12:14 mark and Valeri Nichushkin just after the Stars' second power play of the period expired. Bishop was huge in the second, stopping Eric Fehr shorthanded and Eric Staal.
After Benn gave the Stars a 1-0 lead, Dubnyk had big stops on Radek Faksa and Jason Spezza to keep the Wild within one. Bishop answered with big saves on Mikael Granlund, Staal and Granlund again before Zucker's late game-tying goal.
"[Bishop] was outstanding all night," Montgomery said. "The first period he kept us in it, and I thought his battle level, when he plays like that, you can just sense the invincibility of our team on the bench. That's a credit to him. That's how good he is."
Video: DAL@MIN: Bishop makes clutch stop, mask falls off
4. Yep, Alexander is great
Radulov had a strong game, factoring in both Dallas goals, recording a game-high six shots on goal and a game-high 10 shot attempts.
Radulov set up the game's first goal, getting to the puck after the Wild won a faceoff in their end, circling out from behind the goal and backhanding it on net, where Benn put it past Dubnyk to give the Stars a 1-0 lead early in the third.
In overtime, Radulov appeared to be running on fumes when the Stars busted into the Minnesota zone on a 2-on-1 rush, but after the rush attempt fizzled, Radulov drifted from the left circle to the right circle, took a pass from John Klingberg and beat Dubnyk to the short side to give the Stars a big win.
"I was tired, yeah," Radulov said. "I got caught on the far boards. It was either change or take the 2-on-1. I should have changed before, but I'll take that end."
Video: Radulov discusses crazy winning goal in Minnesota
5. Dickinson leaves with upper-body injury
Stars forward Jason Dickinson left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Montgomery said Dickinson is doubtful for Sunday's game against the Islanders. "I don't know the severity of it, but he's probably doubtful for tomorrow," Montgomery said. ... Dallas improved to 4-3 in 3-on-3 overtime this season. ... The Stars snapped a four-game losing streak in Minnesota dating to February 2016 with Saturday's win. ... The Stars are 7-11-2 on the road this season. ... The Stars were 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. ... Dallas won 34 of 59 faceoffs (58 percent). Jason Spezza won 13 of 17 draws (76 percent). ... Jamie Benn has points in five straight games (three goals, three assists). ... Alexander Radulov has points in four straight games (one goal, five assists).
Here is the lineup the Stars used at the beginning of Saturday night's game:
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Denis Gurianov
Valeri Nichushkin - Jason Spezza - Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark - Jason Dickinson - Blake Comeau
Radek Faksa - Devin Shore - Brett Ritchie
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen - Roman Polak
Gavin Bayreuther - Taylor Fedun
Scratched: Julius Honka, Tyler Pitlick
Injured: Martin Hanzal (back), Connor Carrick (foot), Marc Methot (knee), Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches)
Video: Stars edge Wild on Radulov's overtime goal
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.
Mark Stepneski has covered the Stars for DallasStars.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.