ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Though the Minnesota Wild haven’t been scoring much this season, they’ve limited opponents’ scoring opportunities better than any team in the NHL.
They overwhelmed the Dallas Stars on both ends of the rink on Saturday night.
Rookies Justin Fontaine and Mathew Dumba both scored their first NHL goals and Josh Harding made 18 saves for his second straight win as the Wild beat the Stars 5-1.
The Wild came in giving up a league-low 22.0 shots per game, and they kept the pressure off Harding, who was filling in for injured starter Niklas Backstrom. Two nights after stopping 14 of 15 shots in a 2-1 win over Winnipeg, Harding faced only 19 shots as the Wild controlled play from the opening faceoff.
“They’re doing a nice job on the other end of the rink,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “They’ve got a lot of good puck possession and they’re winning the battle of the possession clock in their own end.”
Minnesota also blocked 10 shots and had 15 takeaways — compared to just three for the Stars — as they repeatedly frustrated Dallas’ attempts to sustain any offensive momentum.