Bill Meltzer: Stars Gameday: Frustration Sets In As Stars Fall in St. Paul


The Dallas Stars’ winless streak hit four games (0-2-2) on Saturday night as the team fell to the Minnesota Wild, 4-1, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. After a scoreless first period, the Stars got buried under a three-goal onslaught by the Wild in the middle frame. A lone second period tally by Vernon Fiddler was not nearly enough on a night where the Stars got outshot by a 30-20 margin.

Minnesota got goals from Mikael Granlund, Matthew Dumba, Thomas Vanek (power play) in the second period, while Nino Niederreiter (power play) added an additional goal in the final stanza. Kari Lehtonen stopped 26 of 30 shots in a losing cause for Dallas. Victorious goalie Darcy Kuemper made 19 saves for the Wild.

The Stars were guilty of a host of cardinal sins in this game. Jordie Benn committed a horrendous giveaway on Granlund’s unassisted goal that opened the scoring. Special teams failed the Stars, as the Dallas power play went 0-for-4 including a failed 5-on-3 advantage and the penalty kill got scored on twice in four opportunities.

Stars captain Jamie Benn, who has been held scoreless in the last two games and has one point (an assist) over the last three, gave in to frustration last night. He was charged with three minor penalties, including a nasty slashing penalty in the third period in which Benn gave Minnesota’s Jason Zucker a two-hander in his midsection.

Top line center Tyler Seguin was also held off the scoresheet for the second straight game, as the Stars followed up Friday’s rather ugly 2-1 overtime loss to Anaheim with last night’s debacle in St. Paul. Seguin earned two shots on goal but missed the net twice and got blocked on another attempt. He sits at 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) through 11 games.

With Lindy Ruff using rookie defensemen Jyrki Jokipakka (14:00 of ice time) and Jamie Oleksiak (11:39 sparingly) as the team chased the game for much of the final 40 minutes, the Stars’ top three blueliners logged huge ice time. Trevor Daley (28:25) led the way, followed by Alex Goligoski (27:04). Brenden Dillon (20:54) also shouldered a heavy burden, while Jordie Benn skated 15:30 over 20 shifts.

Stars forward Ales Hemsky left the game early after sustaining an upper-body injury. Ruff said the player would be OK. There was no word on his status for upcoming games.

The Stars return to action on Tuesday night. The defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will pay a visit to the American Airlines Center. Game time is 7:30 p.m. CST.

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