ST. PAUL, Minn. — Alex Stalock posted his second shutout of the season, and Jason Zucker had a goal and two assists for the Minnesota Wild in a 7-0 win against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
Stalock, playing his second straight game in place of Devan Dubnyk, made 27 saves for Minnesota, which has won back-to-back games to start a season-long, seven-game homestand. Mats Zuccarello and Ryan Hartman each had a goal and assist. Jared Spurgeon, Carson Soucy, Ryan Donato and Zach Parise also scored for the Wild.
Anton Khudobin started in goal for Dallas, but was pulled early in the second period after allowing four goals on 17 shots. Ben Bishop entered and made 12 saves as the Stars lost for the third time in four games.
Minnesota had lost six of seven games and returned home after a disappointing 7-3 loss at Pittsburgh. Back on home ice, where they are 13-5-4 this season, has made all the difference for the Wild. They beat Tampa Bay on Thursday and left little doubt of the outcome against Dallas.
Spurgeon started the scoring with his fourth goal of the season and first since Nov. 29, a span of 14 games. Ryan Suter played the puck up the boards to Zuccarello, who spun and dropped a pass to Spurgeon in the left circle for a one-timer past Khudobin.
Soucy scored his sixth of the season for a 2-0 lead in the first. Soucy leads all rookie defencemen in goals this season.
Minnesota opened the second with a flurry to chase Khudobin, scoring on two of its first five shots of the period.
Zucker was credited with his 13th goal of the season after his pass to the crease deflected off the stick of Stars defenceman Andrej Sekera past Khudobin into the net. Donato scored 33 seconds later.
NOTES: Dallas D Stephen Johns returned to the lineup for the first time since March 29, 2018 due to post-traumatic headaches. Johns became a regular member of the team’s defensive corps and had 28 points in 150 career games before the headaches started prior to the 2018-19 season. . The Stars placed F Radek Faska on injured reserve, retroactive to Jan. 11, with an upper-body injury. He had missed the previous two games. . Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu was scratched just prior to the game with an illness. . Dallas D Miro Heiskanen was scratched with an upper-body injury sustained in a collision during the team’s previous game against Buffalo. . Zucker has four goals and six assists in his past 11 games. . Parise has a goal in three straight games, tallying four over that span. . The Stars were 5-0-1 in the previous six meetings with the Wild.
Stars: Played their final game before the All-Star break. They return on Jan. 27 at home against Tampa Bay.
Wild: Host Florida on Monday.
More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports
Brian Hall, The Associated Press