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(Saturday, October 12th)
Final Score: Minnesota 5, Dallas 1
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Fontaine sparked Minnesota with a goal 12 seconds into the contest as the Wild went on to score four unanswered goals and rout the Dallas Stars, 5-1, from Xcel Energy Center.
Matt Cooke netted the eventual game-winner midway through the first period, while Mathew Dumba, Nino Niederreiter and Zach Parise all added goals in the triumph. Minnesota won its second straight contest after going 0-1-2 to begin the season.
"What's most important to me is wins," Cooke said. "Tonight was a step in the right direction. That was our first, full 60-minute game."
Josh Harding stopped 18 shots to earn the win.
Jamie Benn scored the lone Stars' goal, while Dan Ellis surrendered all five goals on 36 shots.
Minnesota won the opening face-off and dumped the puck into Dallas' zone. Brenden Dillion lost the puck to Cooke, who found a cutting Fontaine. The 25- year old slapped a backhand past Ellis while falling to the ice.
"Ill-advised play in our own zone," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "That gave them life right off the bat."
Another Dallas turnover, this one behind its net, led to Cooke's third goal of the season. Cooke controlled the puck after Alex Goligoski failed to and sent a wrap-around through Ellis' five-hole.
The Wild held a 2-0 edge until a power-play goal 8:23 into the second period put them ahead by three goals. Terrific puck movement left the Stars' defense out of position, and Dumba scored his first NHL goal on a sweet cross-ice feed from Dany Heatley.
Two minutes later, Niederreiter tapped in a goal for a 4-0 Wild lead.
Benn put Dallas on the board when he received a sharp pass through traffic from Tyler Seguin and snapped a shot past Harding for the goalkeeper's lone blemish.
Parise, who spent the first seven years of his NHL career with the New Jersey Devils before signing with his hometown Wild prior to the 2012-13 campaign, lit the lamp late in the third period to cap the scoring. Parise was planted in front of the goal and opportunistically batted home the rebound from Jared Spurgeon's slap-shot.
The Stars' two-game winning streak came to an end ... The Wild have now won three of four against the Stars after claiming two of three meetings in the lockout-shortened 2013 season. Minnesota has also taken four of five in St. Paul.
10/13 02:16:56 ET