April 1, 2018 / 3:13 AM / 4 months ago

Dallas staves off elimination with win over Wild

EditorsNote: updates with results of Blues game

John Klingberg had a goal and an assist and goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 33 of 34 shots as the Dallas Stars defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Saturday at the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas to stay alive in the hunt for a wild-card spot in the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It was the final home match of the season for the Stars, who won for just the second time in their past 11 games and staved off elimination for playoff consideration with St. Louis losing later Saturday night against Arizona.

The Wild had a seven-game point streak — which was a season-best — snapped and lost in regulation for the first time since March 13. Minnesota remains in third place in the NHL’s Central Division, with St. Louis and Colorado breathing down its neck.

Lehtonen is 3-8-1 in the past 13 games (11 starts) since Dallas’ No. 1 goaltender Ben Bishop was injured on March 5.

Dallas lit the scoreboard first with 7:11 to play in the first period as Jason Spezza turned a nifty pass from Alexander Radulov into a 1-0 lead as he used the backhand to beat Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk. Klingberg was also granted an assist on the play.

Klingberg added to the Stars’ advantage 8:00 into the second period, scoring his 300th career NHL goal with a wrist shot under Dubnyk’s glove after passes from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

Radek Faksa’s shorthanded goal 19 seconds into the third period off an assist from Tyler Pitlick pushed the Dallas lead to 3-0.

Zach Parise answered almost immediately for the Wild, making the most of a Mikael Granlund pass by redirecting a shot past Lehtonen for a power-play goal at the 1:29 mark of the third period.

Seguin added an unassisted empty-net goal for Dallas with 46.2 seconds to play. It was Seguin’s 40th goal of the season, becoming just the third Stars player to reach that number.

The Wild head home to host Edmonton on Monday while Dallas travels to the Bay Area for its next match, a contest versus San Jose on Tuesday.

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