Humbled Wild looking for more vs. Stars

NHL Hockey

When Dallas faces Central Division foe Minnesota for the first time on Wednesday, the Stars will be looking to extend their winning streak while trying to close the gap in the standings.

After Dallas got off to a fast three-goal start Tuesday against the visiting Detroit Red Wings, it cruised to a 5-2 victory to complete a winning three-game homestand (2-1-0).

The win over Detroit – the Stars’ second straight after losing to Nashville to open the homestand – evened their record at 6-6-2.

Center Joe Pavelski played on a line with Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson – a unit that recorded three goals and two assists against Detroit.

Hintz scored a goal to give the Stars a 3-0 lead in the second period, and Robertson netted the only two goals in the third – the latter into an empty net for his third of the season.

Pavelski said the Stars are trying to rediscover the togetherness that propelled them to a winning record last season.

“We had good chemistry last year, so with that you have that trust, that belief it’s going to be there,” said Pavelski, who played in his 1,100th game to become the 29th U.S-born player to achieve the milestone. “So if we’re willing to work and support each other, we’re going to create a lot of those chances, and it’s showing.”

Pavelski – a 16-year veteran who was a seventh-round draft selection in 2003 – played his first 963 games with the San Jose Sharks. He has 91 points in 137 games since joining Dallas before the 2019-20 campaign.

The club also welcomed back second-year goalie Jake Oettinger, who won in his season debut by stopping 28 of the 30 shots the Red Wings put on goal.

Oettinger was 11-8-7 in 29 appearances last season as a rookie.

The Wild are off to a hot start – victorious in 10 of their 15 outings – and sit in second behind division-leading Winnipeg, but the momentum of winning five of six was halted in Tuesday’s 4-1 home loss to the San Jose Sharks.

San Jose led 2-0 after 20 minutes of play, and Minnesota was forced to chase the game.

Joel Eriksson Ek scored early in the second period to give the Wild some life, but Erik Karlsson answered four minutes later as the Pacific Division squad regained the two-goal edge and skated away with the victory.

Wild coach Dean Evason was not pleased with the effort of most of his club.

“We lose 4-1, there’s not a lot of guys that played well,” Evason said. “… You could go right through the roster obviously and you could pick and choose, but on a whole, we did not have a good night.”

Last season’s top rookie, Calder Trophy winner Kirill Kaprizov continues to be mired in a goal-scoring slump after tallying 27 times and adding 24 assists in 55 games last season. Over his 15 games this season, the 24-year-old left winger has just three goals with eight assists.

“He’ll find his way,” Evason said. “Yeah, for sure, he’s getting special attention. But he got special attention last year, too. It didn’t take very long for the league or our division last year to know how good he was, right?

“So, he’ll fight through it. His work ethic is good enough, it’ll come around.”

–Field Level Media

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