Whatever perceived annoyance was wiped away by puck drop today, though, as Wild fans in the X were completely jacked for Game 6 against the Stars, with the Wild trailing 3-2 in the series and again facing elimination. A nice pregame tribute to Minnesota music legend Prince — this was the first home game since his stunning death Thursday — contributed to the mood.
And then … fans DEFINITELY became annoyed by an early penalty call against Charlie Coyle, who was sent off for elbowing even though it appeared Dallas defenseman Jason Demers used an elevated Coyle elbow as an excuse to dive — or at least embellish — on the play. Marco Scandella took a high sticking penalty shortly thereafter, and the Stars’ John Klingberg cashed in with a blistering one-timer on the 5-on-3 power play at 5:56.
Jason Spezza tacked on a rebound goal a little more than three minutes later to put Dallas up 2-0, and Patrick Sharp delivered a gut punch with by beating Devan Dubnyk high blocker side on a 2-on-1 with less than two minutes left in the first period for a 3-0 lead at the break. The Stars hold a 13-6 advantage in shots on goal. Fans booed as the teams left the ice — and did again at the end of two periods with Dallas ahead 4-0.
Of note: Dallas went back to Kari Lehtonen in goal after Antti Niemi gave up five goals in Game 5. Lehtonen started the first three games of the series before giving way to Niemi for the next two.
The Wild dressed the same 20 players it did in Game 5, with Jordan Schroeder and Jarret Stoll sticking in the lineup.