ST. PAUL (Minn.) (AP). Roope Hntz started Dallas off early. Jake Oettinger stymied his own team once again, and the Stars defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-1 in the Game 6 of the first round NHL playoff series.
Wyatt Johnston, Mason Marchment and the Stars scored in the second quarter when the Stars, smelling the Western Conference semi-finals and swooping for the finish swung in to outshoot the Wild by 18-5. Max Domi sealed the deal with an empty-netter at the last minute.
Oettinger recorded 22 saves to help the Stars advance and face the winner of Colorado-Seattle. The Kraken led the Avalanche 3-2 in their Game 6 Friday.
Oettinger was aiming for his second shutout in the series when Fredreau scored a goal for the Wild at 7:07 with the game still to play.
Filip Gustavsson stopped 23 shots over two periods in his first Minnesota season, as he started a fourth game in a row. Marc-Andre Fleury took over the third period after a 7-3 defeat at Dallas during Game 2.
Since the Wild's last playoff win, a victory over St. Louis during the first round in 2015, they are now 5-14 at home in the postseason. The franchise has a postseason record of 4-13.
Last year, the Stars were defeated by Calgary in seven games during the first round.
T.J. Hockenson, tight end for the Minnesota Vikings, provided a raucous contribution to 'Let's Play Hockey!' The crowd was humming along with the Wild's strong start. The fans, as well as the home team who was frustrated, never received any reward.
Oettinger, Ryan Suter and Ryan Hartman immediately covered the crease in order to prevent a second attempt. Hintz then went the opposite way to deke John Klingberg, and delivered a top-shelf goal that flew over Gustavsson’s glove.
Hintz leads the NHL playoffs in points with 12 and has scored five goals. The fifth-year player helped the top line thrive without Joe Pavelski. Pavelski has returned to training but was again held out after suffering a concussion during Game 1.
The Wild finally avoided the penalty box and rendered a Stars' power play, which was 9 for 22 in the first five games, a non-factor. The Wild could have just as easily declined the Stars' penalties, since their power play - 0 for 2 for the game and 4 of 22 for the series - was a momentum killer instead of a builder. The crowd booed at the end of their initial 5-on-4 failure.
The Wild created many good looks in the net but their shooting and passing were off all series. They weren't able this time to create the breakaways that they did here in Game 4 and they started running out of steam halfway through the game.
They certainly responded well. The Stars talked about the lesson that they learned after letting the Wild take advantage of the crowd during their 5-1 victory in Game 3. The team who scored first in each game won the entire series.
Evgenii Dadonov passed a no-look ball from behind the goal into the slot. Johnston, uncontested, swooped to score the first goal of the series.
Marchment's goal with just 0.5 second left in the second half was a major blow for the Stars after Mats Zuccarello sailed his open shot over the crossbar.
Last year, the Wild had a 2-1 advantage over St. Louis before losing three consecutive games. Kirill Kaprizov, the star left wing who was the heartbeat in that series with the Blues before losing three straight games last year, struggled this season after scoring a goal against the Blues.