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Stars Notebook: A Dominant, Complete Dallas Win in Minnesota

The Dallas Stars dominated the Minnesota Wild on Thursday in Minneapolis. In the end, it was a 4-1 victory for Dallas, their 22nd of the season and third straight dating back before the holiday.

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The Dallas Stars dominated the Minnesota Wild on Thursday in Minneapolis. In the end, it was a 4-1 victory for Dallas, their 22nd of the season and third straight dating back before the holiday. 

With the win, Dallas moved to 7-2-2 in their last nine road games. Even more impressively, they are now 6-1-1 in their last eight games overall.

"It was just a really solid 60-minute effort," Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer said. "Our attention to detail, our puck management, we got great goaltending, we had real good special teams, and we played a real smart road game." 

Tyler Seguin bookended the scoring for Dallas, kicking things off with a beautiful bouncing deflection on a Ryan Suter power-play shot. Seguin added a nifty lobbing empty-netter to put the game away in the third. 

Third times the charm: Speaking of the third, the Stars unsurprisingly dominated yet another final frame. After scoring the late goal in Nashville on Tuesday, Dallas found three third-period goals to flip a 1-1 tie into a complete 4-1 victory.   

Just tip it in: Outside of the empty netter, the Stars two tallies were scored in a fashion that they have been succeeding with a lot lately: deflections. 

First, it was 19-year-old Wyatt Johnston, who tipped a point shot up over Marc-Andre Fleury just 3:29 into the period. The goal was Johnston’s 11th of the season, tying him for the league lead among all NHL rookies. 

The second deflected goal, and second power-play goal of the game for Dallas, came from the captain and linemate of Johnston, Jamie Benn. 

Benn scored his 15th of the season in the second half of the period, giving Dallas a two-goal lead and their 10th multi-power-play goal game (3rd in the NHL). Benn, 33, leads the Stars with eight power-play goals. 

"Those guys have been good every night," DeBoer said. "You get used to the fact that Wyatt keeps getting better every night, Benner's been bringing it all year, and Marchment's done a good job complementing those guys. I liked all four of our lines tonight, everyone hopped over the boards and contributed, you didn't have to hide anybody." 

An Otterly special night: The hometown kid, Jake Oettinger, played an excellent game in front of more than 70 of his family and friends. A native of Lakeville Minnesota, Oettinger stopped 23 of 24 and was only beaten on a sneaky play from Kirill Kaprizov, as he faked the centering pass and banked the puck off of the back of Oettinger in the first period. 

"It was awesome," Oettinger said. "All my family and friends here and everyone that helped me get to this point. I always want to play well in front of them and win, and the guys were awesome for me tonight. I didn't have to do anything special and we were the better team, we deserved to win." 

When it comes to road hockey, Oettinger leads the NHL in nearly all goaltending stats (7-2-1, .949 save percentage). 

Key Stats:

The Stars dominated the faceoff dot, something they have done very well all season long. Dallas won 70.3% of the draws in the game, allowing them to control play, pump 43 shots on net, and keep the Wild on their heels. 

The faceoff skill was on full display on the Stars third goal, when they won a key draw with the extra man, got the puck to the net, and Benn tipped it past Fleury for the dagger. 

Dallas went 2-3 on the power play. Dating back to Dec. 23, the Stars have scored six power-play goals in their last three games. 

The Stars also shut down the Wild powerplay (0-2). Their top-five penalty kill has gone a perfect 5-5 in the last two games.

Sam’s Three Stars

  • First Star: Tyler Seguin, DAL (2 goals) 
  • Second Star: Wyatt Johnston, DAL (1 goal, 1 assist)
  • Third Star: Jake Oettinger, DAL (23 of 24, .958%)
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