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Friday, December 31, 2010
Canucks top Stars 4-1

By Mark Stepneski

Cory Schneider made 44 saves, and his teammates scored three times on the power play as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Dallas Stars, 4-1, Friday night at American Airlines Center.

The loss was fourth in the last five games (1-3-1) for the Stars, who are winless in their last four games (0-3-1) at home.

Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Kevin Bieksa all had a goal and an assist for the Canucks. Brenden Morrow scored the lone goal for the Stars.

Kari Lehtonen started in net for Dallas and was pulled late in the second period after giving up four goals on 14 shots. Andrew Raycroft finished out the game and stopped all eight shots he faced.

First period

The Canucks opened the scoring with a power-play goal with 2:49 left in the first period. Henrik Sedin one-timed a pass to brother Daniel, who scored from the slot.

Just 47 seconds later Raffi Torres took a pass from Jannik Hansen, split the the Dallas defense and slipped the puck past Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen to give the Canucks a 2-0 lead.

Defenseman Matt Niskanen and forward Krys Barch were the scratches were for the Stars.

Second period

The Stars came out with some strong pressure in the second period, had some good chances and had an 11-2 shots advantage through more than nine minutes of play, but the Canucks went on a power play at the 9:40 mark and scored 12 seconds later when Henrik Sedin banged in a one-timer from right circle.

After the Stars killed off another Vancouver power play to keep it a 3-0 game, the Stars got their second power play of the game. With 1:23 remaining on it, Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa pulled down James Neal on a breakaway and Neal was awarded a penalty shot. Neal’s bid was denied by Canucks goalie Cory Schneider. The Stars couldn’t cash in the on the rest of the power play and it remained a 3-0 game.

After the Stars took a bench minor, the Canucks got their fourth power play of the game and they struck again when Bieksa scored from the right point to make it a 4-0 game.

That was it was it for Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen, who was pulled after allowing four goals on 14 shots. Andrew Raycroft took over in net at that point for the Stars.

Third period

The Stars got their third power play of the game early in the third period and cashed in with 18 seconds left in it when Mike Ribeiro set up Brenden Morrow, who scored from the slot to make it a 4-1 game with 16:39 remaining in the game.

The Stars got another power play three minutes later and had some great chances, but Schneider came up with superb stops to keep the Stars from cutting the lead to two goals.

Schneider stopped 44 shots in the game for the Canucks, who were outshot 45-22 on the night.