Associated Press DALLAS -- The greatest comeback in the short history of the Minnesota Wild likely ended the playoff hopes of the team that used to call Minnesota home.

Jim Dowd and Andrew Brunette scored 21 seconds apart midway through the third period as the Wild fought back from three goals down to tie the Dallas Stars 4-4 Wednesday night.

The point gives Dallas 87 points with two games left. The Stars would have to win both and hope for nothing but losses from Vancouver and Edmonton, both with 90 points, for any chance to extend their streak of consecutive postseason to seven.

The Wild, who were coming off a 3-1 victory over San Jose that coach Jacques Lemaire called their best game of the season, have done their state proud when facing the former Minnesota North Stars.

The new Minnesota team is 1-2-1 this season against Dallas, having won at the Stars' new $420 million rink, earlier this season. The teams split four games last season.

When this game ended, the Wild celebrated the first comeback from a three-goal deficit for a win or tie in its existence with hugs and handshakes on the ice. The Stars walked slowly to their locker room lamenting an 0-2-1 skid in the last three games when they desperately needed points.


The Stars, who led 4-1 after scoring three goals in a 2:45 span in the second period, had a power play in overtime but were stopped repeatedly by Wild goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who replaced injured starter Manny Fernandez in the second period.

Dallas thought it scored the go-ahead goal with about six minutes left in regulation when Kirk Muller redirected a shot from Sergei Zubov. Muller even raised his stick in celebration, but the official correctly ruled that his shot didn't go in. Replays showed it hit the right crossbar and sailed practically parallel to the goal line.

Minnesota's third-period barrage prompted Dallas interim coach Rick Wilson to pull goalie Ed Belfour after he allowed four goals on 17 shots. As Belfour walked to the locker room, fans cheered for his replacement, Marty Turco.

With Belfour a free agent after this season, it's possible the anchor of the Stars' back-to-back Stanley Cup finals teams has played his last game for Dallas. The Stars have a home game Friday, then end the regular season Sunday in Colorado.

Pierre Turgeon, Manny Malhotra and Darryl Sydor seemingly gave Dallas a big cushion with their second-period flurry.

Turgeon's goal ended an 0-for-21 power play drought, then 1:10 later Malhotra got his first goal in 15 games with Dallas when Fernandez turned the wrong way and fell while trying to stop a chip shot from just inside the blue line.

Fernandez had to be helped off the ice with a sprained right ankle. Roloson was beaten by Sydor on the first shot he faced, putting Dallas up 4-1.

Jere Lehtinen scored Dallas' first goal midway through the first period off a nice feed from Turgeon.


Marian Gaborik scored the first goal for Minnesota, and Antti Laaksonen had the second one late in the second period, starting the Wild comeback.

Notes: Dallas right wing Jason Arnott left during the first period with a strained groin. ... Gaborik's goal was his 30th of the season and his 100th career point. He'd been stuck on 99 for six games. ... Laaksonen's goal was his 15th, earning him a $25,000 bonus. He could've had it Monday night, but passed up a shot into an empty net, giving the puck to Sergei Zholtok to score instead.

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