Goaltender Kari Lehtonen made some key early stops, and he
finished with 27 saves for his second shutout of the year as the
Stars defeated the Vancouver Canucks 2-0 Wednesday night.
"It's the first part of the season," Lehtonen said. "I know we have
not played the way we should.
"We are a little behind now, but we have to keep battling. If we are
able to sort our game out (and) I can take my game to the next
level, I think we have a chance."
Dallas center Colton Sceviour scored early in the second period, and
left winger Antoine Roussel sealed the win with an empty-net goal
with 27 seconds left in the game.
Lehtonen was the difference, especially in the first period when
Dallas was outshot 11-5. He blocked a point-blank shot from right
winger Radim Vrbata in the opening minutes, then stopped left winger
Chris Higgins on a short-handed breakaway.
"That's always huge when you are able to make a great first save,"
said the big goaltender from Helsinki, Finland. "That gave me lots
of confidence, and that carried later on in the game.
"At that point, I was feeling really confident and good. It was lots
of fun after that."
Sceviour said the game could have been over early if not for the
"That first period we could have come out of it in a hole," Sceviour
said. "He made some huge saves. That's something we were able to
rally behind between the first and second period."
The win was the third in four games for Dallas (12-13-5). The Stars
are 11th in the Western Conference, seven points back of the eighth
and final playoff spot.
Sceviour said the team can't lose confidence.
"I think we are going to believe we can climb into a playoff spot,"
he said. "It's just a matter of time.
"Everyone has slumps at different points. Unfortunately we had ours
early on, which puts us in a bit of a hole. We will keep building
and chipping away."
The win also snapped a four-game road losing streak for the Stars,
who earned their sixth consecutive win over Vancouver.
The loss extended the Canucks' losing streak to five games (0-4-1).
Vancouver (18-11-2) is in fifth in the West, tied with three other
teams with 38 points.
Canucks right winger Jannik Hansen had a great scoring chance in the
second period when he stole a puck and broke in alone. He rifled a
shot that Lehtonen snagged with his glove.
"We had a ton of opportunities today, and every single time he
stopped them," Hansen said. "When we needed a bounce, we didn't get
[to top of second column]
The Canucks continue to struggle on the power play. They were
0-for-4 on the night and are 0-for-18 over the past six games.
Canuck goaltender Eddie Lack stopped 27 shots.
Sceviour opened the game's scoring at 2:53 of the second when he
took a pass from center Shawn Horcoff and flipped an innocent
looking backhand at the net. The puck slid under Lack's glove,
giving Sceviour his second goal of the season.
"I was just trying to throw it out to the front to maybe get a
rebound," Sceviour said. "I was fortunate enough to get a bounce,
and it went in."
The goal shifted the game's momentum to Dallas. The Stars outshot
Vancouver 17-4 in the second period.
"I felt like we were controlling the first and the beginning of the
second," Lack said. "I kind of gave them momentum, and it's a weak
goal. What else can I say? I was kind of in between should I get it
with my stick or my glove."
Before Wednesday, the Stars' last victory outside of Dallas was a
2-0 decision against the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 13. They were
outscored 21-9 during their four road losses since.
NOTES: The Canucks decided to keep rookie C Bo Horvat on their
roster and not loan him to Team Canada for the IIHF World Junior
Championships. ... Vancouver's last home win over Dallas was March
30, 2012. ... Canucks G Ryan Miller's 16 wins are among the top 10
in the league, but his 2.69 GAA is 32nd and his .900 save percentage
ranks 40th. ... Vancouver LW Tom Sestito, who sustained a groin
injury on Nov. 2, returned from a three-game AHL conditioning stint
but isn't back in the lineup. ... Vancouver's homestand continues
with games against Calgary on Saturday and Arizona on Monday. ...
Dallas LW Travis Moen missed a second consecutive game with an
upper-body injury. ... The Stars continue a three-game road trip
with games in Calgary on Friday and Edmonton on Sunday. ... The
Stars reassigned G Jussi Rynnas to Texas of the AHL. ... Not dressed
for Dallas were RW Patrick Eaves (ankle), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip)
and D Patrik Nemeth (arm).
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