Jason Zucker scored the winner with 6:45 to play as the Minnesota Wild beat the Dallas Stars 5-4 after blowing a four-goal lead Saturday night.
Zucker skated into the paint as Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen blocked a shot. The puck bounced off Zucker’s chest and into the goal just before the net came off its moorings. A replay review confirmed the goal.
Three Minnesota players scored in the first 4:01, and the Wild led 4-0 before the period ended.
The goals by Mikko Koivu, Eric Staal and Matt Dumba knocked Stars starting goalie Antti Niemi from the game without a save.
Chris Stewart also scored against Lehtonen for a 4-0 lead at 12:45 of the first.
The Stars rallied with Antoine Roussel scoring 7 seconds before the first period ended, Jiri Hudler and Tyler Seguin adding second-period goals and John Klingberg tying it on the power play with 8:47 remaining.
Darcy Kuemper made 34 saves for the Wild, and Lehtonen stopped 26 shots.
Minnesota is 16-1-1 in its last 18 games, and 18-2-3 since an overtime loss at Dallas on Nov. 21.
The Wild finished the first half of the season’s schedule 27-9-5 for a franchise-record 59 points.
Koivu scored unassisted 1:19 into the game. Johnny Oduya blocked Koivu’s shot, but the puck went in off Dallas defenseman Stephen Johns.
At 3:00, Eric Staal kept the puck on a 2-on-1 break and shot it between Niemi’s legs.
Dumba scored at 4:01 on a wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle, and Stewart tipped in a shot by Jordan Schroeder to make it 4-0.
For Dallas, Roussel took a backhand pass from Radek Faksa in the slot and beat Kuemper with 7 seconds left in the opening period.
Klingberg assisted on both second-period goals, giving him eight points (two goals, six assists) in the last six games.
Klingberg sent a pass through a narrow opening to Devin Shore, and Shore passed to Hudler on the left side for his goal at 2:20. Less than four minutes later, the rebound of Jamie Benn’s shot bounced to Seguin’s skate. He put the puck on his backhand to score.
▪ Niemi entered the game 11-4-2 with a 1.94 goals against average against the Wild in his career.
▪ Staal has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his last five games.
▪ Mikael Granlund, who assisted on Dumba’s goal, has at least one point (two goals, two assists) in each of Minnesota’s three games against the Stars this season.
▪ Stewart’s eighth goal equaled his total from last season.
▪ Benn has 37 points (11 goals, 26 assists) in 29 career games vs. Minnesota.
Wild: Finish a quick two-game trip on Sunday at Chicago. It will be the first game this season between the Western Conference co-leaders.
Stars: Begin a three-game Eastern trip at Buffalo on Monday afternoon.
First Period—1, Minnesota, Koivu 13, 1:19. 2, Minnesota, Staal 15 (Folin, Coyle), 3:00. 3, Minnesota, Dumba 7 (Granlund, Zucker), 4:00. 4, Minnesota, Stewart 8 (Suter, Schroeder), 12:45. 5, Dallas, Roussel 6 (Faksa, Ritchie), 19:53. Penalties—Brodin, MIN, (hooking), 16:50.
Second Period—6, Dallas, Hudler 2 (Klingberg, Shore), 2:20. 7, Dallas, Seguin 16 (Klingberg, Benn), 6:06. Penalties—Benn, DAL, (hooking), 11:23; Klingberg, DAL, (hooking), 14:35; Zucker, MIN, (high sticking), 17:38.
Third Period—8, Dallas, Klingberg 7 (Spezza, Seguin), 11:13 (pp). 9, Minnesota, Zucker 11 (Granlund), 13:15. Penalties—Eaves, DAL, (hooking), 4:03; Shore, DAL, (tripping), 5:22; Staal, MIN, (tripping), 10:21.
Shots on Goal—Minnesota 12-14-6—32. Dallas 12-12-14—38. Power-play opportunities—Minnesota 0 of 4; Dallas 1 of 3. Goalies—Minnesota, Kuemper 5-2-2 (38 shots-34 saves). Dallas, Lehtonen 9-11-4 (28-26), Niemi 9-7-4 (3-0). A—18,532 (18,532). T—2:27.