Final

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Dallas leads 3-1

Game 1: Monday, December 19th
Stars1Final
Wild2
Game 2: Monday, January 9th
Stars2Final
Wild1
Game 3: Wednesday, March 22nd
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Stars4
Game 4: Saturday, April 15th
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OT
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Stars 1

(21-9-1, 43 pts)

Wild 2

(14-15-4, 32 pts)

8:00 PM ET, December 19, 2005

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 T
DAL 0 1 01
MIN 0 0 22

Top Skaters

Dallas: M. Modano - 1 A, 5 SOG, Even

Minnesota: M. Gaborik - 1 G, 4 SOG, Even

Gaborik, Wild rally to beat streaking Stars

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Practice paid off for the Minnesota Wild.

Marian Gaborik scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and Minnesota rallied to slow down the streaking Dallas Stars with a 2-1 victory Monday night.

Gaborik took a long pass at center ice from Brian Rolston, a stride ahead Trevor Daley, and raced into the Stars' zone. Gaborik faked right, went left and put a wrist shot over goalie Marty Turco at 11:58.

"In our system, when the winger has got the puck on the wall in our zone the other winger goes across and tries to take the defenseman with him," Gaborik said. "I know Rollie was going to pass it and I just had to get to an opening and get some speed. It worked out perfectly. It was a great pass."

The goal came less than four minutes after Todd White tied it for Minnesota, which won for third time in four games.

Randy Robitaille eluded a check from Stephane Robidas at the blue line, carried into the Dallas end and dropped a pass for White. His shot from low in the left circle beat Turco between the legs at 8:14.

Jere Lehtinen scored for Dallas, his career-best sixth straight game with a goal.

"This is something that's been building up for the last few games and we haven't paid the price for it and tonight we did," Dallas winger Bill Guerin said. "A couple mistakes and we lose the game."

Minnesota won its second straight one-goal game and is now 5-12 this year in such contests.

"The guys know now this is the way we got a chance to win," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "If we don't play together, we don't forecheck, we don't support each other there's no way we can beat teams like this. Killing penalties helps, too."

Dallas was 0-for-6 on the power play against the NHL's best penalty kill, including little pressure after Gaborik took a penalty with 4:34 to play.

"There's not going to be a lot of easy wins and tonight was no exception. We had to kill some big penalties," Rolston said. "We had some good opportunities but Turco played well and our goaltending was great again tonight. Hopefully, we can get some confidence from these two wins."

Dallas, which played the fifth of six straight road games, is 7-2 in its last nine games away from home. Overall, the Stars have won seven of nine and 12 of 15.

Coach Dave Tippett doesn't think his club is tired of playing in other teams' rinks.

"We've got one more to go, so I hope not, but there is a certain fatigue factor that comes into play," he said.

Minnesota's Manny Fernandez, who entered with the league's second-best goals-against average (2.06) and save percentage (.930), stopped 30 shots for the win.

Turco, 14-4 in his last 18 decisions, stopped 20 shots. His best move came midway through the opening period. After a turnover by Sergei Zubov, Turco reached back to his right to poke the puck away from Marc Chouinard as he tried to backhand it into the net.

Turco's best save came when he did the splits to glove Gaborik's shot midway through the second period.

After a scoreless first period, it took Dallas just 38 seconds to get on the board in the second.

Brenden Morrow dumped the puck off the boards to the left of the Minnesota net, where it was picked up by Mike Modano. Beginning to circle behind the net, he backhanded a pass to Lehtinen, whose shot from below the left circle beat Fernandez low on the glove side.

"That's a play we do all the time," Modano said. "He knows where to go now. He knows if I'm going to the net it's coming out the other side."

Game notes


It was the first time in 18 games Minnesota won when scoring fewer than three goals. ... Rolston, Modano and Guerin were all picked for the U.S. Olympic team. ... Modano has a nine-game scoring streak with three goals and nine assists. ... Minnesota failed to score a power-play goal for just the second time in 17 games. ... Dallas will conclude its longest road trip of the season Wednesday at Columbus. ... The series between the Wild and the Stars, who moved to Dallas from Minnesota, is tied 8-8-1.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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