ST. PAUL, Minn. – Marian Gaborik scored twice, Pierre-Marc Bouchard added a goal and two assists and Brent Burns had three assists to lead the Minnesota Wild past the Dallas Stars 6-3 on Thursday night.
Pavol Demitra, Eric Belanger and Mark Parrish also scored for the Wild. Niklas Backstrom stopped 25 shots for his 16th win.
Minnesota scored on four of its first eight shots to lead 5-1 midway through the second period before goals by Steve Ott and Minnesota native Matt Niskanen cut the gap to 5-3.
Dallas has lost three in a row and failed to rebound after a poor showing against conference-leading Detroit on Wednesday. The Stars’ top line of Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro and Antti Miettinen hasn’t scored during their three-game skid.
The Wild scored first when Gaborik tipped the puck past defenceman Trevor Daley and outraced him to the net for a short-handed goal midway through the first period. Demitra made it 2-0 a minute later, and Bouchard increased the lead to three with just under seven minutes left in the first.
It took less than a period for goalie Marty Turco to get pulled. After giving up three goals, Turco was replaced by Mike Smith with 6:46 remaining in the first.
Notes: Dallas earned at least a point against Minnesota in the previous eight meetings . . . Dallas was without Sergei Zubov, Jussi Jokinen, Philippe Boucher and Jere Lehtinen . . . Fans cheered when it was announced before the game that Wild defenceman Martin Skoula was scratched. Skoula’s misplay of a bouncing puck lead to the deciding goal in a 3-2 loss to San Jose on Monday. The six-foot-three former first-round pick has made several costly mental errors recently . . . Niskanen, a native of Virginia, Minn., had about 300 friends and family at the game, which explained the small section of cheers when he scored.