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Stalock's save ignites Wild in rout to cap Hockey Day Minnesota

First-period save is followed by seven-goal outburst against division-rival Dallas

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /

ST. PAUL -- In a game the Wild scored seven goals, it was Alex Stalock's save with 50 minutes left in the contest that may have defined yet another Hockey Day triumph for the home team.

Minnesota scored a touchdown of goals on Saturday night then booted the extra point for good measure in a 7-0 trouncing of the Dallas Stars in front of a raucous Xcel Energy Center.

So crucial to the victory was Stalock's save that defenseman Ryan Suter awarded the player of the game helmet to the goaltender. 

Tweet from @mnwildScribe: In a 7-zip hockey game, this was the turning point... still 0-0, #mnwild went down and scored about 15 seconds later.

"That gets everyone going on the bench having a big save like that," said Wild defenseman Carson Soucy. "We knew we had to capitalize on the momentum swing and we did."

And it didn't take long. 

Video: DAL@MIN: Spurgeon unloads one-timer past Khudobin

On the very next rush up the ice, perhaps 15 seconds later, defenseman Jared Spurgeon buried a slap shot to get Minnesota on the board. 

Like that, the Wild stole a one-goal lead from the jaws of a one-goal deficit. 

Video: Bruce Boudreau postgame vs Dallas

"They get the 1-0 lead, they're pretty jacked up. But we get the 1-0 lead from a guy who hasn't scored a goal, it perks you up," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "Then we didn't have too many chances until Soucy scored. We were playing good, and then I thought chances started to come."

Soucy's goal almost six minutes after Spurgeon's gave the Wild a 2-0 lead heading into intermission, one Minnesota doubled in the span of 33 seconds four minutes into the middle period.

Video: DAL@MIN: Soucy rips wicked wrist shot by Khudobin 

Like that, the Wild had a four-goal lead and the rout was on. 

"It's fun when it happens that way. You make a save at one end, you go down and Jared makes a great shot," Stalock said. "It feels better when you can make a save that way.

"We were jumping, and you can see it with this team when we're going. When we're hitting and banging bodies, it's tough for them to come out of their zone when we play physical. Tonight we wanted it again and we played 60 minutes. It was good."

Video: DAL@MIN: Zuccarello cleans up the rebound

Any hope of another miracle Dallas comeback was sniffed out with 53 seconds remaining in the second when Mats Zuccarello put away a rebound off a Jason Zucker shot to make it 5-0. 

Just for good measure, Zach Parise ran his goal-scoring streak to three games and Ryan Hartman added a seventh a minute after Dallas' Corey Perry got tossed from the game for kneeing Stalock in the head as he was freezing the puck, a play that drew the ire of all six Wild players, including Stalock, on the ice. 

Video: Locker room postgame vs Dallas

"How much time's left on the clock? It's a six- or seven-nothing game. I don't know why you can't help yourself there. It's clearly a knee to the head," Stalock said. "It was only a week or two ago it's not even three minutes into an outdoor game, he elbows a guy in the head. He can't help himself. Hopefully they look at it. There's no need for it. He knows he's wrong. He knows he's making a bad play. It's stupid."

Perry's cheap shot capped a game in which the Wild came out physical and kept right on going. Without the benefit of a morning skate to get the legs going, then with a long wait with an 8 p.m. Hockey Day start, Minnesota got the bodies banging.

It was an important way to get engaged in the opening couple of minutes. 

Video: DAL@MIN: Soucy rips wicked wrist shot by Khudobin

"I think those first couple shifts there we were all kind of banging just trying to get into the game," Soucy said. "A little bit of a late start but that got us going early."

The win moved the Wild to 11-2-1 all-time on Hockey Day, a record not lost on Stalock, the South St. Paul native making his first career HDM start.

"It's fun. The guys from Minnesota kind of give you a hard time when you're from here. But there's a big following in hockey here," Stalock said. "For us to cap it off with a win like that, I know people probably kept their TVs on all the way to the end, which obviously last couple weeks maybe they haven't done that. We're playing good hockey again, and it's fun."


Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 7, Stars 0

Video: Zucker, Stalock propel Wild past Stars

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