(The Sports Xchange) - Captain Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists and Kari Lehtonen stopped 22 shots for the Dallas Stars in a 4-0 win against the Minnesota Wild in Game 1 of their Western Conference first round playoff series on Thursday.
It was Lehtonen’s second career playoff shutout.
Rookie Radek Faksa, making his playoff debut, scored the eventual game-winner 3:53 into the second period, beating Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk high on his glove side with a wrist shot from the slot.
Jason Spezza and Patrick Eaves both scored while adding assists for Dallas, the top seed in the Western Conference.
Dallas broke the deadlock 3:53 into the second period when Faksa scored from the slot. Ales Hemsky, appearing in his first playoff game since 2006 with Edmonton, started the sequence by stealing the puck from Jarret Stoll in the neutral zone.
Hemsky then fed Faksa, and the rookie center quickly converted to put the Stars ahead 1-0.
Spezza put Dallas up 2-0 with his 18th career playoff goal at 12:17 of the second period. After receiving a backhand pass from Eaves in the neutral zone, Spezza rushed up the right side of the ice.
Spezza first faked a slap shot from the right circle, a fake Dubnyk bit on. Spezza then scored with a wrist shot from the edge of the right circle that beat Dubnyk high and just inside the near post.
It was Spezza’s first playoff goal since April 23, 2012, when he scored for Ottawa against the New York Rangers.
Eaves scored a power-play goal off a rebound with 5:44 remaining in the third to make it 3-0. Dubnyk denied Spezza’s slap shot from near the Wild blue line with a pad save, but Eaves popped in the rebound.
Benn added an empty-net goal with four minutes remaining to cap the scoring.
Dubnyk stopped 28 of 31 shots in a losing effort.