Klingberg, Stars top Wild 4-1 with playoff hopes fading fast
DALLAS (AP) — John Klingberg scored a goal while adding to his NHL-leading assist total for defensemen and the Dallas Stars beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Saturday night.
Jason Spezza scored a goal for the first time since Jan. 16 as the Stars, playing their home finale, won for just the second time in 11 games — a slide that wiped out any realistic hopes of making the playoffs.
The Wild, still holding the third playoff spot in the Central Division with four games remaining, lost the second of a home-and-home set two nights after beating the Stars 5-2 in Minnesota. Their season-best seven-game point streak ended.
Tyler Seguin added an empty-netter in the final minute for the first 40-goal season of the high-scoring forward’s career.
Kari Lehtonen, who had to carry Dallas’ playoff hopes late in the season with Ben Bishop sidelined by a knee injury, stopped 33 shots. Devan Dubnyk had 32 saves for the Wild.
Seguin and Jamie Benn assisted on Klingberg’s eighth of the season for a 2-0 lead in the second period.
Klingberg had his career-best 56th assist on the first-period goal by Spezza, who took a pass from Alexander Radulov ahead of the defense before his shot from close range trickled under Dubnyk’s right leg.
Radek Faksa scored short-handed for Dallas 19 seconds into the third period, but Zach Parise answered with a power-play goal 70 seconds later. The Stars’ Remi Elie had taken a holding penalty late in the second.
Mikael Granlund topped last season’s career high with his 44th assist on Parise’s goal.
NOTES: The Stars capped a season of celebrating 25 years in Texas with Mike Modano dropping the ceremonial first puck. Modano led Dallas to the franchise’s only Stanley Cup title in 1999 and is the NHL’s career American-born scoring leader. … Wild D Ryan Suter went off with an apparent injury late in the second period. He wasn’t using his right leg as he was helped through the tunnel to the locker room. … Spezza has eight goals in 75 games. His previous low when playing at least 75 games was 22 goals in 2003-04, the 34-year-old’s first full season in the NHL.