The Minnesota Wild are trying to fight out of the basement in the Central Division and with the Dallas Stars coming to town on Saturday night, it represented a great opportunity to make up some ground.
As the nightcap of another successful Hockey Day in Minnesota, the Wild celebrated in style with three second period goals on the way to a 6-0 victory over the Stars at Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild jumped on the Stars from the opening whistle as they took it to former Minnesota farmhand Anton Khudobin. Jared Spurgeon opened the scoring for Minnesota, scoring his fourth goal of the season from Ryan Suter and Matts Zuccarello for a 1-0 lead.
The Wild kept the pressure on in the first period with Carson Soucy finding the back of the net on a feed from Jason Zucker to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
While the first period was a great start for the Wild, Minnesota opened the floodgates in the second period as goals by Zucker and Ryan Donato chased Khudobin from the game and gave Minnesota a 4-0 lead.
After Zuccarello piled on with his 12th goal of the season, the rest of the game belonged to Alex Stalock in net. The Wild goaltender made 27 saves on the night to earn the shutout and Zach Parise and Ryan Hartman added power play goals in the third period to secure the 7-0 victory.
The Wild still have some work to do with 60 points in the Western Conference standings. They sit six points behind Edmonton for the final playoff spot but also are in the midst of a stretch of seven straight at home, which began with a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.
Minnesota will look to keep their success at home going when they host the Florida Panthers on Monday night.