The Dallas Stars shut out the Minnesota Wild in a 4-0 victory on Thursday night. Minnesota was without three key forwards: Zach Parise, Thomas Vanek and Erik Haula.
Dallas sports one of the best power play units in the NHL, but has weak goaltending, so the Wild’s scouting report likely indicated they should not take penalties and pepper goaltender Kari Lehtonen with shots.
Instead they took three first period penalties and mustered only two shots on net. “We’ve all get to step up and try to create offense any way that we can,” Stoll told the Pioneer Press after the game.
It wasn’t until the second period, however, when the Stars got on the board by capitalizing on Minnesota’s mistakes.
Stoll was stripped of the puck by former Oilers teammate Ales Hemsky, who set up Radek Faksa for his first-ever playoff goal almost four minutes into the second. Later in the period Marco Scandella’s mental error led to a Jason Spezza goal.
“Turnovers,” right wing Charlie Coyle told the Star Tribune. “Three out of the four goals, we had the puck and gave it to them in transition. That’s giving them an easy game.”
The Stars vaunted power play finally came through in the third, with Patrick Eaves scoring on the man advantage with six minutes left in the game and Jamie Benn sealing it with an empty-net goal shortly after.
“Got to get more from everybody. Our best forward was [checker Chris] Porter tonight,” Wild interim head coach John Torchetti told the Star Tribune.
To add insult to injury, superstar Tyler Seguin is expected to suit up for Dallas in Game 2.
“We can beat these guys,” goalie Devan Dubnyk told the Pioneer Press. “There’s no reason to think otherwise. We’re going to have to be better than we were tonight for sure.”[Star Tribune, Pioneer Press]