Wild falls to Stars
By Dave Campbell, AP Sports Writer
ST. PAUL -- Jamie Benn scored twice, backup goalie Andrew Raycroft notched his second shutout of the season with 26 saves and the Dallas Stars matched a franchise record with their seventh straight road victory, 4-0 over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.
Trevor Daley and James Neal also scored for the Stars, who last won seven games in a row away from Dallas in the 2001-02 season. They took it to Wild goalie Jose Theodore, who gave up only three scores in the last three games.
The Stars, who welcomed Jamie Langenbrunner back to the lineup after a trade this week that returned him to his original team after nearly nine years with New Jersey, are 13-7-1 on the road.
The Wild were 8-2-1 in their last 10 games, but they're now 1-6-3 on the second day of back-to-back games. They fell to 10-10-2 at home, compared to 11-6-3 on the road.
The Wild got home late after beating the Sidney Crosby-less Penguins in Pittsburgh 4-0 on Saturday night, and they started this game in sleepy fashion by falling behind barely 2½ minutes in. Brad Richards threaded a pass to the opposite circle to set up a textbook one-timer for Daley.
The Stars had a score waved off midway through the opening period when Adam Burish's body went hurling into the net and knocked over Jose Theodore, drawing a penalty for goaltender interference.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard hit a post with a power-play shot from the point a few seconds later, waking up the Wild and a sluggish crowd at Xcel Energy Center, and Bouchard struck the pipe again later in the period after a slick feed from Brent Burns.
The Wild had another lapse in the final minute, though, when Benn went nearly end to end with the puck -- putting a deft move on Cam Barker to scoot around the defenseman in the left circle -- and sent a snap shot past Theodore with 48.6 seconds before the first break.
After a scoreless second period, Neal scored on a turnaround after he drifted away from the crease and suddenly spun forward. Then Benn picked up his second goal, on a shot through traffic in the high slot.
This was Benn's first multigoal game this season.
NOTES: Theodore was in the net for the fifth straight game because Niklas Backstrom is bothered by a lower-body injury. Backstrom is scheduled Monday to see his specialist in Vail, Colo., where he had left hip surgery in 2009. Anton Khudobin was recalled from AHL affiliate Houston to back up Theodore for the time being. ... Richards and Loui Eriksson each got their 30th assist of the season on Daley's goal. Eriksson stretched his assist streak to seven straight games. ... The Wild caught a break when defenseman Marek Zidlicky was determined to not need surgery on the shoulder he hurt in the Dec. 29 game against San Jose. He'll rehabilitate the injury instead, with the goal of returning to action in four to six weeks.