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         === Lehtonen helps Stars break slide with blanking of Wild ===
 
 Dallas,  TX (SportsNetwork.com)  - Kari Lehtonen stopped all 18 shots he faced
 for his second shutout of the season as the Dallas Stars got a much-needed 4-0
 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
 
 Ray  Whitney,  Jordie Benn,  Vernon Fiddler  and Erik Cole  all scored for the
 Stars, who desperately needed this win as the team had lost nine of their last
 10 games entering this game.
 
 "It's  been frustrating because we've had a lot of good opportunities inside a
 game  that  haven't gone  for us,"  said Dallas head  coach Lindy Ruff. "We've
 started some games really well and all of a sudden a goal can go in and it's a
 little  bit of a letdown. But you know we really gave a key effort and got the
 saves  when  we needed them, and  the power play  was good and the killing was
 good."
 
 Darcy  Kuemper  gave up all four  goals on 36 shots  for the Wild, who had won
 seven of nine coming into the contest.
 
 "Well  we won the opening faceoff and spent 40 seconds in our own zone, that's
 a bad sign right there," said Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo. "We weren't ready
 to execute, to get going the right way and it just trickled on from there."
 
 Dallas  got on  the board at 13:18  of the first period as Fiddler's shot from
 the high slot hit off  Wild and went into the net for his third of the year.
 
 It  was a  2-0 game 3 1/2 minutes  later as, on the power play, Cole snapped a
 shot into the right corner of the net from the left circle for his 14th of the
 season.
 
 The only goal of the second period went to Dallas, as Whitney's wrister on the
 power play found the back of the net for a 3-0 lead at 13:18 of the frame.
 
 Benn  was  awarded a penalty  shot when  Kuemper threw his  stick at Benn on a
 breakaway,  and  capitalized on his  free shot as  he dipped his shoulder then
 slipped the puck around the right pad for a 4-0 lead at 11:22.
 
 Lehtonen  stopped nine  shots  in the  third  to polish  off  his 24th  career
 shutout.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Dallas  hosts Toronto  on Thursday ... Minnesota hosts Chicago on Thursday ...
 Minnesota  had won  the  previous two  contests with  Dallas  this season  ...
 Lehtonen  has  24 shutouts in  his career ... Dallas  was 2-for-7 on the power
 play, while Minnesota was 0-for-4.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 01/22 01:25:32 ET