Dallas Stars Recover, Knock Out Minnesota Wild

The Associated Press

The Dallas Stars secured a spot in the second round after they defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-4 in Game 6.

The Stars pretty much ran the show through the first two periods. The Wild played like they already booked their vacations to Vegas or Florida.

John Klingberg, Jason Spezza, and Patrick Sharp gave the Stars a 3-0 lead in the first period, completely zapping the energy out of the Xcel Energy Center. Jamie Benn added another stab when he made it 4-0 in the second.

But something happened in the third. Jared Spurgeon scored a power play goal at 3:48. Then 25 seconds later Jonas Brodin added another goal, pulling the team within two.

Stephen Johns received a high-sticking penalty against Jason Zucker. The Wild took advantage of the opportunity and Jared Spurgeon scored his second goal of the playoffs to make it 4-3.

However, the Stars did not roll over. Alex Goligoski added another goal to go up 5-3. Replays showed Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk put the puck into his own net.

The Wild also did not stop fighting. They applied as much pressure onto Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen until Jason Pominville put it through for his fourth goal of the playoffs.

They needed ONE more goal to force overtime. The team pulled Dubynk for an extra attacker and drove into the Stars zone. A shot from Nino Niederreiter appeared to find its way under Lehtonen.

Only one problem.

The puck did not fully cross the line. In order for the goal to count the entire puck must cross the line.

So close. Television viewers could feel the life sucked out of the arena when the officials confirmed Niederreiter did not score the goal. Faces went from glee to shock.

The Wild continued the pressure, forcing the Stars to ice, dragging the last 30 seconds as long as possible. The Wild desired those faceoffs in the Stars zone, but they could not get another goal.

“When you’re in the middle of it, you’re not even thinking about [how crazy it is], you’re just trying to get that next one and just build off the crowd,” lamented Wild defenseman Ryan Suter. “It’s just too bad we couldn’t get that last one.

The horn blew and the Stars advanced.

“We talked about momentum so much in the playoffs,” said Stars forward Patrick Sharp. “[Ahead] 4-0 [with] 20 minutes left, a power-play goal and then the building gets into it, they get excited and we’ve got a tough time stopping it, but we did. We won the game and we’re happy about it. Lot of respect for what Minnesota can do on their side. It was a tough series, but we’re excited we’re moving on.”


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