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Hagman scores lone goal as Stars edge Wild

Feb 8, 2008 - 5:44 AM
By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- He may need an extra ice pack or two after the tricky splits, but the pain is well worth it for Mike Smith.

The backup goaltender stopped all 25 shots he faced and made an acrobatic save that led to Niklas Hagman's game-winning goal at 3:11 of the third period as the the Dallas Stars posted a 1-0 victory Thursday over the Minnesota Wild.

The shutout was the second of the season and fifth career for Smith, who helped the Stars notch their fifth straight victory.

"I don't do the splits too often, but that was one of those moments that called for it," Smith said of his save on All-Star Marian Gaborik's shot just over three minutes into the third period.

"I'm not sure my groin will like that too much in the morning. But it's like I said, it's timely saves at the right time of the game that make the difference in whether you're winning or losing."

Dallas charged up the ice following Smith's save, and Jussi Jokinen carried the puck over the blue line on the right wing. He centered it to Loui Eriksson, who threaded a pass between two defenders to a streaking Hagman.

Hagman, who claimed he wanted to shoot high to the blocker side of Niklas Backstrom right away, elected to deke and bring the puck across the crease as the goaltender was deep in his crease. He slid it past Backstrom's left skate and easily deposited it under his glove for the only goal of the game.

The Finn credited Eriksson for making a perfect pass on the play.

"I was so close to the (defense) that I didn't expect that I was going to still get the puck," Hagman said. "He managed to put it right on my tape."

The goal was Hagman's 20th of the season, marking the first time he has reached the plateau in six NHL campaigns. It also was his seventh game-winner of 2007-08.

"Everyone is oohing and aahing over the save that Smith made, then we end up with a breakaway on the other end and it goes our way," Stars coach Dave Tippett said.

There was plenty of oohing and aahing created by both netminders, a rarity in the season series. In the three previous meetings between the teams, the clubs combined for 24 goals.

Smith, who was making his first start since January 22 due to Marty Turco's sore neck, made the lone goal stand. The 25-year-old, who was 1-4-0 in his previous five starts, turned aside 10 shots in the first period, seven in the second and eight in the third.

Backstrom had won four of his previous five starts but was coming off a performance against Detroit in which he allowed a soft game-tying goal with 80 seconds left in the third period. The Red Wings went on to win in overtime.

However, Backstrom nearly was Smith's equal on Thursday as he stopped 15 shots alone in the first period and finished with 25 saves. The loss was just his sixth in regulation at the Xcel Energy Center in 38 career decisions (26-6-6).

The Wild also successfully killed all six of the Stars' power plays, running their streak to 26 in a row over the last seven games - a season high. Still, Minnesota was shut out at home for just the second time this season.

"Our game is a simple game, and we got away from that tonight, I thought," Wild left wing Brian Rolston said after having his career-high streak of six games with a goal snapped. "When we're all working, the puck gets deep and things like that, and we're at our best. I didn't think we were at our best tonight.

"We had our chances, we were still in the hockey game. Obviously, huge penalty-kills, Backstrom played great. We can take a lot of positives out of it."

Minnesota's fans did have several reasons to cheer, mainly thanks to Backstrom. But the noise actually started before the game, when Dallas center Mike Modano was honored during a ceremony to recognize his contributions to United States hockey.

Modano, a Michigan native and the NHL's all-time leading scorer among American-born players, was the first overall pick by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988 and remained in the Twin Cities until the organization moved to Dallas in 1993.

In addition to holding every franchise regular-season and playoff scoring record, Modano eclipsed Minnesota native Phil Housley's mark for most points by an American earlier this season. Housley was in attendance for the event, during which Modano drew a loud standing ovation from the crowd.






  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Stars vs. WildFeb 7 10:26 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 0 0 1 1
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: DAL - NIKLAS HAGMAN 20 (LOUI ERIKSSON, JUSSI JOKINEN) 3:11
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: DAL - 0 OF 6, MIN - 0 OF 2.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DAL 15 7

    Feb 7 10:25 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 1
    MINNESOTA 0
    3RD PRD: DAL - NIKLAS HAGMAN 20 (LOUI ERIKSSON, JUSSI JOKINEN) 3:11

    Stars vs. WildFeb 7 9:57 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 0 0 0
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DAL 15 7 22
    MIN 10 7 17
    GOALIES: DAL - MIKE SMITH
    MIN - NIKLAS BACKSTROM

    Feb 7 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 0 0
    MINNESOTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DAL 15 15
    MIN 10 10
    GOALIES: DAL - MIKE SMITH
    MIN - NIKLAS BACKSTROM

    Feb 7 8:44 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Flyboy Added 5 roots

    Stars vs. WildFeb 3 3:13 PM