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Sights And Sounds: Wild Finishes Record First Half

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

There were many key moments that defined the Minnesota Wild's 2015-16 season. Wild.com will take a look at some of the most important.

Saturday, January 9, 2016 — Having played 40 games on its schedule, the Minnesota Wild traveled to American Airlines Arena in early January with a chance at making history.

With its next game marking the halfway point on the calendar, a win would give the Wild the most points in the first half of any season in franchise history.

There was more to the game, though. It came against a Central Division rival in the Dallas Stars, and on the heels of Dallas erasing two multi-goal deficits in Minnesota earlier that season and defeating the Wild on both occasions, once in regulation, and once in overtime.

Add in the Stars had won a third meeting between the teams earlier in the season, and the Wild was looking to exorcise a Dallas demon as much as it was looking to set a new benchmark in its history books.

And true to form for the two teams, nothing came easily, and the margin for error was slim. The Wild carried a 2-0 lead into the third period, but Jamie Benn scored a six-on-four goal with 3:13 remaining in regulation to make it a one-goal game.

That set up a frantic finish, which included one of goaltender Devan Dubnyk’s 34 saves: this time around he got the better of Benn, the NHL’s leading scorer up to that point in the season.

It was the last shot on goal Dallas would produce of the game, which secured a victory for the Wild and improved Minnesota to 22-11-8, and earning its record 51st and 52nd first-half points.

What It Looked Like

Save comes at 3:50 mark of the video

What Was Written

From the recap: Devan Dubnyk made 34 saves to help the Minnesota Wild to a 2-1 win against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Saturday.

Dubnyk made 11 saves in the first period, including a sprawling kick save on a wrist shot by Jyrki Jokipakka from the slot at 7:56 of the first period.

"[Dubnyk] was solid all night," Yeo said. "He was real good at the end of the game, too, when he had to make a huge save with the goalie pulled, but yeah, he was composed and he was calm in there all night and obviously made some huge saves."

From Five Takeaways: Dubnyk bookended the game with clutch periods, coming up big down the stretch in the waning minutes, including a point-blank save on Benn in a 2-1 game with Dallas' goalie pulled with 60 seconds remaining.

"He was composed, and he was calm in there all night, and obviously made some huge saves," Yeo said.

What It Sounded Like

AUDIO

What Was Tweeted

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