Dubnyk notches third straight shutout as Wild blank Stars
St. Paul -- At some point this season, Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk is almost sure to allow another goal. It just won't happen this month. Dubnyk recorded his third consecutive shutout on Saturday, powering the Wild to a 4-0 win over th...
St. Paul -- At some point this season, Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk is almost sure to allow another goal. It just won't happen this month.
Dubnyk recorded his third consecutive shutout on Saturday, powering the Wild to a 4-0 win over the Dallas Stars. In the process, Dubnyk set team and personal records for the longest streak without allowing a goal, stopping 29 Dallas shots as the Wild (6-2-1) stayed unbeaten at home.
"You don't get shutouts by yourself," Dubnyk said. "You get shutouts with guys doing a lot of good stuff in front of me and allowing me to make reads, great sticks and blocks and it all adds up, so it's something to enjoy but most of that game tonight until the third period was one shot, so you can't be thinking too much about the shutouts."
Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, Eric Staal and Tyler Graovac scored for Minnesota, which maintained its place atop the Central Division standings.
Dallas got 11 saves from goaltender Kari Lehtonen and constantly tested Dubnyk throughout, but could not find a way to get a puck over the goal line, losing for the third time in the past four games.
The Stars, who have dealt with a rash of injuries recently, fell to 3-4-1 on the season.
Dubnyk's shutout streak now stands at 180 minutes after blanking the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Stars in Minnesota's last three games. His previous record was 166:49, set in the spring of 2013 when he played for the Edmonton Oilers.
"I've never been in a situation where they've had three shutouts in a row," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, in his first season in Minnesota after long stints in Washington and Anaheim. "(Dubnyk is) looking very confident out there. I don't know if he can do it for 73 more games but right now he's doing very well."
With the Wild up 1-0 in the third, Niederreiter and Staal both fooled Lehtonen with wide-angle shots, and Graovac scored his first career goal on a tap-in as Minnesota improved to 4-0-0 at Xcel Energy Center.
The Dallas defense didn't allow a shot on Minnesota's first power play of the night, but the Stars' first power play was a rough one for the visitors.
A turnover deep in the Minnesota zone launched the Wild on a 2-on-1 break. Mikko Koivu carried the puck across the Stars blue line, made an eye-popping stick move around Dallas defenseman John Klingberg, then fed Granlund who was streaking to the net uncovered.
Granlund popped a wrist shot past Lehtonen for his first goal of the season. It was the first shorthanded goal of the season for the Wild, which has had the NHL's most efficient penalty kill in October.
"You never want to get down against any team to start a game, and chase right from the get-go," Stars captain Jamie Benn said. "We want to get that first goal. But like I said, we got to be better on the power play and not give up that short-handed goal, and try to at least get momentum if we're not going to score."
Minnesota was playing without top-line left winger Zach Parise, who was scratched before the game and is listed as week-to-week with a lower body injury.
The Wild's offense seemed to be missing something with Parise gone. In the first 40 minutes, the Stars controlled the play for much of the time, out-shooting Minnesota 9-6 in the opening period, and 13-1 in the second, but they could not solve Dubnyk.
"I thought our team worked extremely hard," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "I thought we made a big mistake on the early power play where we gave them a short-handed goal, but after that I thought we didn't give up a lot. Dominated the second period, had some pucks go off some posts. Their goaltender is seeing the puck pretty well right now. We didn't have a lot of puck luck when it came to being around the net."
NOTES: Minnesota D Jared Spurgeon returned to the ice on Saturday after missing the previous four games with an upper body injury. ... The Stars got a key player back in the lineup Saturday, with top-line RW Jiri Hudler returning from a five-game absence due to illness. D Steven Johns was also back on the bench after being a healthy scratch in Dallas' two previous games. ... WildRW Teemu Pulkkinen cleared waivers on Saturday and was assigned to the team's AHL affiliate in Iowa. ... The Stars, who called Minnesota their home for the franchise's first 26 seasons, were right at home in Minnesota last season, going 3-0-0 at Xcel Energy Center in the regular season and 2-1 there in the playoffs. The team, formerly called the Minnesota North Stars, moved to Dallas in 1993. ... Wild C Eric Staal celebrated his 32nd birthday on Saturday.