Wild
Stars
2 - 4 Final
  for this game

Richards helps Stars end great start by Wild

Oct 30, 2008 - 5:31 AM By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DALLAS (Ticker) -- Once again, a trip to Dallas spelled doom for the red-hot Minnesota Wild.

Brad Richards scored the decisive goal in the first period and added an assist while Tobias Stephan stopped 19 shots, leading the Dallas Stars to a 4-2 victory over the Wild on Wednesday.

Captain Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott also tallied during a three-goal opening session and defenseman Matt Niskanen added a power-play goal in the second for the Stars, who handed the Wild (6-1-1) their first regulation loss.

Blue-liner Marc-Andre Bergeron and Andrew Brunette scored for Minnesota, which has lost nine straight in Dallas. The Wild have not won here since a 3-2 overtime triumph on March 21, 2003.

"We've had better nights," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "We gave them two gifts right from the start. They're a good team. They play tight. They don't give you a lot."

"I thought they worked hard and pressured us hard, and we didn't react to the speed of the game," Brunette said. "We didn't play terrible. I think we can rebound and get back to the way we've been playing."

Minnesota hoped to change that trend behind Niklas Backstrom, who entered with a sparkling 1.98 goals-against average. Instead, the Finnish goaltender struggled and was pulled after allowing three goals on 13 shots.

It was terrible start for Minnesota as Morrow scored just 13 seconds into the contest. But the Wild tied it on Bergeron's power-play tally exactly six minutes later.

However, the Stars regained the lead with 7:15 left in the period on Ott's first goal of the season. Richards' backhand pass from behind the end line deflected off Backstrom's skate and lay loose in the crease before Ott jammed it in.

"It was great to be back out there," said Ott, who returned to the lineup after missing three games with a groin injury. "I knew Richie was going to try to get it to me, he's a magician with that puck, and I just kind of stayed there."

"Ott's energy plays a big part for our team," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "He's a hard, physical player. The other team knows when he's on the ice, and it's not just because he talks to them. He gave us some life."

Richards tallied less than three minutes after Ott to make it 3-1, ripping a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle past Backstrom for his third goal of the season with 4:21 left in the period.

"It was important to get a good start, especially against that team," Richards said. "Getting a lead is a lot easier to play against them. (Being up) 3-1 in the first period was big. That's a hard team to play against as it is, but if they get a lead, it gets really tough."

Backstrom was pulled after one session in favor of Josh Harding, who stopped 19 shots.

The change did not seem to matter as Dallas' bulge swelled to three goals with 7:54 remaining in the second, when Niskanen unleashed a scorching wrist shot over Harding's shoulder.

The Wild halved the deficit 3:55 into the third, as Brunette's pass attempt from the right corner deflected off defenseman Mark Fistric's skate in the crease and squeezed between Stephan's pads.

That was all Stephan allowed, however, as he filled in admirably for the struggling Marty Turco and picked up his first career win. Dallas entered last in the league with a 4.17 GAA, thanks in large part to Turco (4.26 GAA).

"That's my job, I just try to make the best of it and stay focused and be ready when called upon," Stephan said of life as a backup goalie. "I feel good, and it was good to get the win tonight."

"He's got the first win under his belt," Tippett said. "He had zero wins in the NHL. So he has to build that confidence in himself and from his teammates."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 0 1 2
    DALLAS 3 1 0 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - BRENDEN MORROW 4 (MIKE RIBEIRO, LOUI ERIKSSON) 0:13
    MIN - (PP) MARC-ANDRE BERGERON 2 (ERIC BELANGER, KIM
    JOHNSSON) 6:13
    DAL - STEVE OTT 1 (BRAD RICHARDS, SEAN AVERY) 12:45
    DAL - BRAD RICHARDS 3 (MARK FISTRIC, K

    Oct 29 11:05 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    DALLAS 4
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) ANDREW BRUNETTE 4 (KIM JOHNSSON, ANTTI MIETTINEN)
    3:55

    Wild 2, Stars 4  3rd - 16:05Oct 29 10:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 0 1
    DALLAS 3 1 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - BRENDEN MORROW 4 (MIKE RIBEIRO, LOUI ERIKSSON) 0:13
    MIN - (PP) MARC-ANDRE BERGERON 2 (ERIC BELANGER, KIM
    JOHNSSON) 6:13
    DAL - STEVE OTT 1 (BRAD RICHARDS, SEAN AVERY) 12:45
    DAL - BRAD RICHARDS 3 (MA

    Oct 29 10:09 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    DALLAS 4
    2ND PRD: DAL - (PP) MATT NISKANEN 1 (SEAN AVERY) 12:06

    Wild 1, Stars 4  2nd - 7:54Oct 29 9:55 PM
  • 31
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 26 roots

    Wild 1, Stars 4  2nd - 7:54Oct 29 9:55 PM
  • 5
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Wild 1, Stars 3  End of 1stOct 29 9:20 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 1
    DALLAS 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DAL - BRENDEN MORROW 4 (MIKE RIBEIRO, LOUI ERIKSSON) 0:13
    MIN - (PP) MARC-ANDRE BERGERON 2 (ERIC BELANGER, KIM
    JOHNSSON) 6:13
    DAL - STEVE OTT 1 (BRAD RICHARDS, SEAN AVERY) 12:45
    DAL - BRAD RICHARDS 3 (MA

    Oct 29 9:15 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    DALLAS 3
    1ST PRD: DAL - BRAD RICHARDS 3 (MARK FISTRIC, KRYS BARCH) 15:39

    Wild 1, Stars 3  1st - 4:21Oct 29 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    DALLAS 2
    1ST PRD: DAL - STEVE OTT 1 (BRAD RICHARDS, SEAN AVERY) 12:45

    Wild 1, Stars 2  1st - 7:15Oct 29 9:02 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    DALLAS 1
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) MARC-ANDRE BERGERON 2 (ERIC BELANGER, KIM
    JOHNSSON) 6:13

    Wild 1, Stars 1  1st - 13:47Oct 29 8:50 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 0
    DALLAS 1
    1ST PRD: DAL - BRENDEN MORROW 4 (MIKE RIBEIRO, LOUI ERIKSSON) 0:13

    Wild 0, Stars 1  1st - 19:47Oct 29 8:40 PM