Wild look completely discombobulated in 4-1 loss to Stars
The lack of 5-on-5 scoring continues to be an issue for Minnesota.
DALLAS -- The hits keep coming for the Minnesota Wild with no end in sight.
After suffering a very frustrating loss to the Coyotes to start this week, the Wild followed it up with a discombobulated effort in a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night at American Airlines Center. They have now five of seven games amid a freefall that suddenly has them fighting for their playoff lives on a nightly basis.
To make matters worse, the Wild are staring down a hellacious stretch of games that could ultimately decide whether general manager Bill Guerin is a buyer or seller at the trade deadline. There will be no rest for the wicked as the Wild play host to the Golden Knights, Devils, Panthers, Avalanche, Stars, Predators and Kings over the next week and a half.
As for the game against the Stars, the Wild continued to struggle offensively, which has been the issue for much of the past month. Never mind that coach Dean Evason switched up his lines ahead of the game. The lack of 5-on-5 scoring continues to be an issue for the Wild as they can’t generate scoring on a consistent basis.
If it wasn’t for Filip Gustavsson, the Wild likely would’ve entered the locker room trailing after a sloppy start. They surrendered 14 shots in the first period alone and had to be bailed out by Gustavsson time and time again.
That said, the dam finally broke less than 30 seconds into the second period, as Stars captain Jamie Benn skated untouched up the middle of the ice and scored a goal to make it 1-0.
It got worse from there for the Wild as a bad pinch ignited a scoring chance the other way. A few seconds later, Stars center Radek Faksa guided a puck into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
The fragility of the Wild was on display in the minutes that followed. They looked completely confused for prolonged stretches before Stars defenseman Jani Hakanpaa rubbed salt in the wound with a redirection to stretch the lead to 3-0.
The only good thing to come out of the second period was Joel Eriksson Ek cutting the deficit to 3-1 on the power play after a pinpoint pass from Kirill Kaprizov.
That momentum didn’t carry over into the third period as the Wild couldn’t get anything past Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger. In the waning minutes, Stars center Roope Hintze added an empty-netter to finalize the score at 4-1.
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