Jason Robertson scored his second hat-trick of the weekend, and the Dallas Stars defeated the Minnesota Wild 6-3 Sunday.
Robertson has scored 29 goals this season. Seven of those have been in the last three matches. Since Washington’s Alex Ovechkin’s January 2020 goal, Robertson is the NHL’s first player to score back-to-back Hat Tricks.
Dallas has also won four consecutive games and seven of its last nine. Jamie Benn and Joe Pavelski were also on the scoresheet. Riley Tufte scored his first NHL goal and Jake Oettenger made 32 saves.
Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov scored two goals and Nico Sturm added one. Kaapo Kahkonen was pulled at the end of the second period after surrendering four goals on 21 shots. Cam Talbot replaced him, and stopped all three of his shots.
The Wild have lost eight out of the last ten games and are currently tied with Dallas for third in the Central Division.
Dean Evason, Wild coach, said that “we are a fragile group right now.” “Nobody in the league feels sorry. We won’t feel sorry for our mistakes.
The Stars are now two games into a stretch where they will play seven of eight road games. They have recovered from their road struggles and are now in the playoff race.
“We had a difficult time scoring on the road. Coach Rick Bowness of Dallas said that the puck is now going in our favor. “Now, we are in the hunt to one of the top three spots within the division. That’s what we aim for.”
With 4-1 trail, the Wild pulled Talbot to add a skater to the game. Kaprizov, who was still in the lead, cut the gap to 4-2 with a wrist shot with 3 minutes remaining. With 1:57 remaining, Kaprizov scored his second goal of the game.
With just over a minute remaining, Benn sent the puck across the ice to the empty net. Robertson scored his third goal with a second empty-netter with 32 seconds left.
Bowness described Robertson as a “natural goal-scorer.” He knows exactly where the puck should be placed, when it should be shot, and where to place it. That’s an instinct that you can’t teach. He’s got it.”
In the first four minutes, Minnesota beat the Stars 6-0. Midway through the second period, Sturm scored his ninth goal for the season.
Stars tied the game with a controversial power-play goal in final seconds of the first. Tyler Seguin crashed into the net for a shot Kahkonen stopped. Pavelski was the one to receive the puck, and his backhand swipe smashed through Dmitry Kulikov of Minnesota and into Pavelski’s net.
Evason challenged the call and claimed goaltender interference. Officials ruled that Seguin had been knocked into Seguin’s crease by Frederick Gaudreau of Wild and the goal was allowed stand.
The Stars opened the 2nd period with a power play. They capitalized when Robertson scored a rebound from John Klingberg’s shot. This was the end of an exhausting stretch for Evason.
“I don’t believe we can play a better opening period. They were ready. We played hard and we played right. Evason stated that one thing happened and it snowballed a bit. “And we make that challenge… in hindsight maybe it wasn’t called, but we take a shot, and they clearly score again. It’s difficult for us to rebound.”
Two minutes later, Robertson scored a goal. Kahkonen got another Klingberg rebound, and Tufte battled off a defender to get it in the net.
The Twin Cities native, who was a player at Minnesota-Duluth, said that she played in the state tournament, won a championship here, and scored her first NHL goal. “This building has been great to me.”
Midway through the second, Dallas had a lead of 4-1 when Robertson shot a wrist shot at the top left faceoff circle. It slipped under Kahkonen’s armpit and ended up in the net.
Kahkonen stated, “There are some things that I want to improve on in the second for certain, and I have got to be better at those.” “All you have to do is keep moving forward and be focused on the next step.”
Stars: At Nashville on Tuesday.
Wild: Tuesday Host Rangers