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Stars turn jeers into cheers in come-from-behind win over Wild

Radulov finishes with second career hat trick as Dallas rallies from 3-0 hole with six straight goals to stun Minnesota

by Jeff Odom @jeffodom /

DALLAS -- As the horn sounded to signal the end of the first period and the Stars shuffled down the tunnel toward their home dressing room, the chorus of dissatisfaction was undeniable.

After 20 minutes against a Minnesota Wild team that entered Tuesday with just one road victory in seven tries, it was evident why. 

The Stars trailed by two goals on the scoreboard -- a deficit that ballooned to three late in the middle frame. They gave up a goal on the first shot of the game for the fourth time on the young season. The power play had come up empty on its first two tries.

Seemingly on their way to another tough defeat, the home faithful at American Airlines Center let them hear it -- and loudly.


[WATCH: All Stars vs. Wild highlights]


"We love playing in front of our fans. They weren't wrong and the players sensed it," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said of the jeers. "You want to win them back because they are great fans."

Video: MIN@DAL: Montgomery on come-from-behind win over Wild

That's exactly what they did.

Starting with a tremendous diving tally by Alexander Radulov in the final minute of the second period, the Stars' best players came alive and reeled off six unanswered goals, stunning the Wild, 6-3, in dramatic fashion.

Radulov finished with his second career hat trick.

Roope Hintz netted his team-leading seventh goal of the season.

Tyler Seguin overcame an illness to join the scoring party.

Video: MIN@DAL: Radulov fuels Stars' comeback with hat trick

And the Stars (5-8-1) found another level for their fourth win in five games -- maybe the needed kick that could turn around their season.

"It doesn't matter who, how -- we need the points right now," said Radulov, who had gone nine game between goals prior to Tuesday's outburst. 

"That's huge, and when we're down 3-0, we did a hell of a comeback and everybody played 60 minutes till the end. It's good that those bounces go our way, finally."

Jason Zucker got Minnesota (4-8-0) rolling at the 2:50 mark of the first, putting a shot past Stars netminder Ben Bishop for the quick advantage. Veteran Eric Staal followed up with a power-play goal at 17:54 off a nice feed from former Stars forward Mats Zuccarello.

Anton Khudobin relieved Bishop to open the second (a decision that was made by Montgomery, who said Bishop "wasn't on top of his game") but Minnesota extended its lead to 3-0 on another power-play marker by Ryan Suter at 14:26.

Video: MIN@DAL: Radulov on scoring second career hat trick

That's when Dallas came alive.

"We saw our first paper bag head out there in warmup, and boo birds after the first," Stars captain Jamie Benn said. "That's frustrating. … I guess we deserved it, but we stuck together as a group in here. Players and coaches, from top to bottom, went out there in the third period with a good mindset of just working hard."

Starting with Radulov's score with 47.7 ticks left in the second, the opportunities for the Stars started coming -- and they started finding the back of the net.

"It kind of pulled us down on our heels," Radulov said. "But we're sitting on the bench and talking about it, like, 'Let's go, let's just work hard for each other, and we'll see what is going to be.' … Eventually we scored and they didn't."

A little more than four minutes into the final period, Hintz cleaned up a Radulov rebound, backhanding the puck past Alex Stalock for a power-play goal. Then, five minutes later, Pavelski knotted it with a shot that deflected off the stick of a Wild defenseman and into the net.

Video: MIN@DAL: Seguin scores off nice dish from Benn

"We felt the crowd get into the game and the players took over then," Montgomery said. "There wasn't anything said going into the third besides, 'Let's get after them and let's make sure we're getting people and pucks in the blue crease.'"

There was going to be no stopping the Stars from there. Radulov put them ahead at 11:31, and Seguin followed with one of his own at 18:20 off a pass from Benn.

Radulov completed the hat trick on an empty-netter with 30 seconds remaining.

"Give the players a lot of credit," Montgomery said, "they've been ridden on by everyone in this room, including me. They deserve it when they win. 

"We've got to build on it when we win. We're going into Colorado, a team that's in first place in our division, and we've got to be better than we were tonight for 60 minutes if we're going to win."

Tuesday was a good start.


Fast facts

Video: MIN@DAL: Hintz swats in rebound for power-play goal

  • The last time the Stars scored six or more consecutive goals was Dec. 31, 2017 against San Jose (a 6-0 victory).

  • Dallas rallied from a three-goal deficit for the first time since Oct. 13, 2018 vs. Anaheim (a 5-3 win). 

  • Radulov also registered the third four-point game of his career. In 14 games this season, he has posted eight points.

  • With a goal and two assists, Pavelski posted his first three-point game as a member of the Stars. Pavelski has registered six points in 14 contests this season.


He said it

Video: MIN@DAL: Radulov banks puck off defender to break tie

"If you can't tell, when he's going, everyone goes. He's one of the catalysts of this team. Even when he's got that swag and that drive and passion, he may be minorly psychotic on the ice. You see it. … In every line, you need that night where someone's driving the bus. I think he grabbed the bus tonight and obviously glad guys hopped on and followed through the whole game."

-- Seguin on Radulov's four-point effort, which included his second career hat trick


"Oh man, we have lots of meetings. That's what happened when you're not playing the way they expect for you to play. We were not good before. Today, we've just got to regroup and we're playing one of the best teams in Colorado in their building next one. We need the points -- we know that we just have to carry that momentum from this game to the next one and work hard like we did in the third and at the end of the second for each other."

-- Radulov on impact of team meeting before Monday's practice


Up next

Video: Condensed Game: Wild @ Stars

The Stars hit the road to face Colorado for the first time this season at Pepsi Center on Friday night at 8 before making a quick trip home to battle Montreal on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Jeff Odom covers the Stars for Follow him on Twitter @jeffodom.

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