The Dallas Stars, the top team in the Western Conference this season, took care of the Minnesota Wild in Game 1 of their opening-round series, and they made it look relatively easy, too.
Despite the absence of Tyler Seguin from the lineup for this game, the Stars came out flying in the opening period, carrying the play and dominating possession. But it took until the second period before they were able to get on the board. Once they did, this became an even longer night for the Wild, who were without their top scorer, Zach Parise, due to an upper-body injury.
(Screen grab from hockeystats.ca)
For the Wild, they have now lost six games in a row dating back to the regular season. They had no answer for the speed and skill of the Stars, or for goalie Kari Lehtonen, who stopped all 22 shots he faced for the shutout.
Down by two goals entering the third period, Minnesota, also without Thomas Vanek, didn’t display much of an offensive push. They manufactured only nine shots on goal in the final 20 minutes. Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves on 31 shots in a losing cause.