Stars Score Three in Second to Down Wild
DES MOINES, IA – The Dallas Stars broke open a scoreless tie, scoring three goals in the second period on their way to a 4-2 victory over the Iowa Wild. Texas scored the first four goals of the contest and were then able to hold off a late Iowa rally. Anton Khudobin stopped 27 shots for the Stars. Kevin Conley and Mike O’Leary both scored their fourth goals of the year for the Wild.
Both teams had eight shots on net in the first frame, with neither able to find the back of the net. However, Texas took control this game starting at 5:41 of the second period when Rhett Gardner netted his fourth goal of the season. Frederik Olofsson won the draw inside the Iowa end back to Gardner, who lifted a wrist shot over the shoulder of Zane McIntyre to make it 1-0.
Almost exactly 10 minutes later Oskar Back extended the lead to two. Marian Studenic took a shot that McIntyre saved, but Back scooped up the rebound, pushing it past the Iowa netminder to make it 2-0. It was the first goal of the season for Back.
With 2:59 left in the second period, Frederik Karlstrom extended the lead to three, lifting a wrist shot from just outside the right face-off circle to make it a three-goal advantage. It was the sixth the goal of the season for Karlstrom.
Iowa had four power-play opportunities in the contest, and were not able to capitalize on any of them. However, the Stars scored a shorthanded goal just before the four-minute mark of the third period. Ryan Shea gain control the puck inside his own zone, sending Studenic the opposite way. He beat McIntyre for his eighth goal of the season.
The Wild had no answers for Khudobin through the first 54 minutes, but finally got on the board at 13:52 of the final frame. Steven Fogarty took a shot that the Start netminder saved, but Conley was able to scoop up the rebound, making a nice spin move before roofing a wrist shot to cut the deficit to three.
With 59 seconds left in the contest, O’Leary made this a two-goal game. With McIntyre on the bench, Ty Ronning took a shot that Khudobin saved, but O’Leary pushed in the rebound to make it 4-2. However, with so little time left in the game, the Stars were able to hang on for the victory.
The loss dropped the Iowa Wild to 11-10-4. Texas is at 15-7-4, the top record in the Central Division, eight points ahead of Iowa.
These two teams will square off again on Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena. The puck drops at 6:00.
by Robert Pannier