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Stars Easily Take Rematch With Wild

Updated: 01/21/2014 10:45 PM
Created: 01/21/2014 10:05 PM KSTP.com

Erik Cole and Ray Whitney scored power-play goals, and the Dallas Stars stopped a three-game losing streak with a 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.

Kari Lehtonen made 18 saves as Dallas (22-20-8) won for the second time in its last 11 games. It was his second shutout of the season and No. 24 for his career.

Jordie Benn scored on a penalty shot, beating Darcy Kuemper at 11:22 of the third period.

Minnesota (27-20-5) dropped to 7-3 in 2014.

Most of the first period was played in the Minnesota end. Dallas finished with 12 shots on goal to only three for the Wild. The Stars also had all three power plays in the first.

Dallas scored at 13:18 when Vernon Fiddler sent a wobbly drive from the top of the left faceoff circle over Kuemper.

The Stars then added to their lead by scoring a power-play goal for the fifth consecutive game. Cole put the puck in the upper right corner from the left circle at 16:45, with Alex Goligoski earning his second assist of the game.

Whitney got on the board at 13:18 of the second period, lifting the Stars to a 3-0 lead just two seconds before a high-sticking penalty on Minnesota's Justin Fontaine ran out.

Sergei Gonchar skated toward the net, and then passed to Whitney. He pulled the puck away from Kuemper, and then pushed it behind him. The shot crossed the goal line before a Wild defenseman could knock the puck away.

It marked the Stars' fourth game this season with two power-play goals.

Dallas outshot Minnesota 16-6 in the period, and 36-18 for the game.

NOTES: The Wild beat the Stars 3-2 in overtime on Saturday. ... Cole scored two goals in this season's first 25 games, but has 12 since the slow start - including three in his last five games. ... Dallas had 20 power-play goals in its first 45 games. The Stars have six in the last five games, and have improved from 29th to 27th in the NHL with a man advantage. ... Whitney's power-play goal was Dallas' 10th at home this season, inching the Stars toward an 11-percent success. They still rank last in the league on home power plays. ... Minnesota was 0 for 2 with a man advantage, extending its current drought to 0 for 14. ... Dallas is 4 of 7 on penalty shots this season.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom (32) defends against pressure from Minnesota Wild's Charlie Coyle (3) in the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in Dallas. The Stars won 4-0.
Photo: AP/Tony Gutierrez

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