Kuemper stops 34 shots to lead Wild over Stars, 3-1

Darcy Kuemper stopped 34 shots, Erik Haula had a goal and an assist and the Minnesota Wild beat the Dallas Stars 3-1 on Thursday night.

Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon also scored for the Western Conference leaders. Minnesota hasn't lost consecutive games in over two months and extended its point streak against the Stars to seven games.

Cody Eakin scored his second goal this season and Kari Lehtonen had 23 saves for the Stars, who have lost seven of eight.

The Stars came out firing early, looking determined to build any kind of momentum in what's been a rough February. The teams appeared headed to the first intermission scoreless before Curtis McKenzie took a goaltender interference penalty with 40 seconds left.

Mikko Koivu won a faceoff and got the puck to Jason Pominville, and he zipped it off to Suter for a one-timer over Lehtonen's glove with less than a second to go. It was the defenseman's eighth goal of the season and first in 12 games.

It was that kind of night for the Stars.

Minnesota went up 2-0 at 4:51 of the second when Jordan Schroeder, off a breakaway feed from Koivu, found Haula in front of the net. Haula poked it past Lehtonen for his 12th goal of the season.

The Stars avoided their sixth shutout of the season at 5:39 of the third when Eakin took a rebound off Antoine Roussel's shot and beat Kuemper stick-side to make it 2-1.

Spurgeon put a backhander past Lehtonen at 13:04.

NOTES: Wild RW Nino Niederreiter received a five-minute interference major for upending Patrick Sharp in the final two minutes. Niederreiter was tripped by Radek Faksa just before the incident. Faksa received an instigator misconduct. ... The Wild are 8-0 in their past eight games after a loss. They haven't lost two in a row since Dec. 2. ... Stars D Stephen Johns missed the game with an illness. ... Suter's eighth goal of the season tied his career high. He has four eight-goal seasons in his career, three with the Wild. He entered the game tied for second in the NHL in plus/minus. ... The Stars are 1-8-0 in their past nine road games.

UP NEXT

Stars: Begin a five-game homestand against Tampa Bay on Saturday night.

Wild: Play the sixth of an eight-game homestand against Nashville on Saturday night.