Dallas Stars: Chris Higgins

In a tight playoff race and needing points, the Dallas Stars couldn’t find a way to get any in Vancouver on Friday night, falling 5-2 to the Canucks. But they’ve got to put the loss behind them and move on to San Jose, where they open a crucial home-and-home series with the Sharks Saturday night.

“We need to find a way to regroup. We have a big home-and-home against San Jose. We’ve got to focus on that,” said Stars forward Steve Ott. “We’ve got to kick the loss as soon as we can and move on to the next game because there are only four games left.”

Friday’s loss in Vancouver knocked the Stars out of first place in the Pacific Division and third in the Western Conference to seventh in the West. They trail Los Angeles, a 4-1 winner in Edmonton Friday night, by one point in the division and lead the ninth place San Jose Sharks by one point.

“We have a chance to control our own destiny and that starts tomorrow,” said Stars forward Jake Dowell. “We’ll be glum about this tonight, but tomorrow we’ll get back at it.”

The Stars had a chance to enhance their destiny Friday night, but Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider wouldn’t have any part of it. He turned in a stellar performance, stopping 28 of 30 shots to lead Vancouver past the Stars.

“I thought we played well. We had chances. Five-on-five I thought we were going real good, but once again (Cory Schneider) was real good and made good saves on us,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “You run it into that every now and then. Goalies win you games and our goalie has won us enough this year. I thought it was a pretty equal game, but Schneider withstood the test. … We played well. We just didn’t get anything to go and we made a few mistakes that cost us. You can’t do that against Vancouver.”

The Stars played a strong first period, outshooting the Canucks 13-8. But the Canucks scored the only goal of the period. Jannik Hansen set up Chris Higgins, who beat Kari Lehtonen with a quick shot from the slot at the 6:43 mark.

Cory Schneider, who got the start in goal because Roberto Luongo had some stiffness in his neck, was sharp in the first, making several nice stops to keep the Stars off the scoreboard.

The Stars drew even early in the second period, when Ott scored off the rebound of a Jamie Benn shot at the 3:16 mark.

But Schneider kept the Stars from taking the lead with some big saves while the Stars were shorthanded. He stopped Ott busting in on net and then made a spectacular toe save on Loui Eriksson during Vancouver’s second power play of the game.

He then stopped Vernon Fiddler’s point blank shorthanded attempt during the Canucks third power play of the game. But the Canucks ended up taking the lead on that power play when Sami Salo scored on a blast from the right point at the 11:01 mark. A little more than five minutes later, Vancouver defenseman Andrew Alberts took a pass from Henrik Sedin and scored from the left circle to make it a 3-1 game.

“That’s why the goaltender is there. He was able to keep us in the game until we were able to score a couple of goals,” said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.

The Canucks extended their lead to 4-1 at 9:06 of the third when Sedin set up Alex Burrows, who scored from close range. A short time later the Stars pulled goalie Kari Lehtonen, to rest his for Saturday’s crucial game in San Jose.

Richard Bachman took over in net and Vancouver’s Maxim Lapierre cashed in on a wide open look from the slot to make it a 5-1 game.

Dowell scored a late goal to make it a 5-2 final.

Notes

*The Stars ended the season 14-6-0 against the Northwest Division.

*Stars forward Reilly Smith, playing in his second NHL game, played 7:47 and had one shot on goal. He started the game on the fourth line, but in the third period was bumped up to the second line with Jamie Benn and Steve Ott.

*Mark Fistric (abdominal strain), Radek Dvorak (ankle) and Eric Nystrom (leg) were out for Dallas.

*The Stars were 0-1 on the power play and 2-3 on the penalty kill in the game.

Stars fall to Canucks, 5-2

March, 30, 2012
3/30/12
9:45
PM CT


The Dallas Stars were knocked out of first place in the Pacific Division after losing 5-2 at Vancouver on Friday night. Los Angeles, a 4-1 winner at Edmonton, took over the top spot in the division. The Stars are now seventh in the Western Conference.

The Stars, who have lost five of their last eight games, play at ninth place San Jose Saturday. They lead the Sharks by one point.

Steve Ott and Jake Dowell scored for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 26 of 30 shots in 49:59 of playing time for the Stars. Richard Bachman played the final 10:01 and stopped three of four shots.

Cory Schneider stopped 28 of 30 for the Canucks, who won their fifth straight game.

First period

Both teams had some good chances early in the period, but the Canucks struck first at the 6:17 mark. Jannik Hansen got to a puck along the right boards and backhanded it to Chris Higgins, who beat Kari Lehtonen with a quick shot from the slot.

Roberto Luongo was expected to start for the Canucks, but Cory Schneider was announced as the starter just before game time. He was superb in the first period, making 13 saves. He had a couple of sharp saves on Jamie Benn along with good stops on Michael Ryder and Mike Ribeiro in the period.

Vancouver had the only power play of the period. The Stars had a 13-7 edge in shots.

Second period

The Stars tied the game at 3:16 of the second. After Jamie Benn put a shot on net off a faceoff, Steve Ott got to the rebound and slipped it past Cory Schneider to make it a 1-1 game.

After that it was a series of quality saves by Schneider and Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen.

Lehtonen had a save on Samuel Pahlsson and two on Chris Higgins. On the Canucks second power play of the game Schneider made a big shorthanded stop on Ott and then made a spectacular save on a shorthanded bid by Loui Eriksson. He made another shorthanded save on Vernon Fiddler on Vancouver’s third power play.

The Canucks took the lead on that third power play when Sami Salo’s blast from the right point went through traffic and past Lehtonen with 8:39 left in the period.

The Canucks made it 3:35 left in the second. Moments after Schneider stopped Jake Dowell, the Canucks went the other way and Henrik Sedin found defenseman Andrew Alberts, who scored off a blast from the left circle.

The Canucks outshot the Stars 20-13 in the second period and had a 27-26 advantage through two periods.

Third period

Reilly Smith got bumped up to a line with Benn and Ott to start the third, and Smith hit the post early in the period. But the Canucks scored twice in a 2:12 to blow the game open. Henrik Sedin set up Alex Burrow, who scored from close range a the 9:06 mark to make it a 4-1 game.

The Stars pulled Lehtonen in favor of Richard Bachman a short time later and the Canucks quickly scored to make it a 5-1 game when a wide open Max Lapierre scored from the slot at the 11:18 mark.

Jake Dowell scored late for the Stars to round out the scoring.

Stars lineup

Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder
Ott-Benn-Vincour
Morrow-Fiddler-Burish
Smith-Dowell-Garbutt

Souray-Robidas
Pardy-Daley
Goligoski-Larsen

Lehtonen (starter)
Bachman

Injured: Fistric (abdominal strain), Dvorak (ankle), Nystrom (leg)
Scratched: Petersen, Wandell, Jordie Benn


The Dallas Stars wrapped up an impressive road trip with an impressive victory, beating the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Tuesday night to run their points streak to eight games (7-0-1).

The Stars went 3-0-0 on the road trip through Western Canada and have now won five straight on the road.

“You can’t ask for more. Our guys battled hard tonight at the end of a road trip,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We got six points out of this thing that we desperately needed. We’ve just got to keep moving forward and stay in the grind.”

The Pacific Division leading Stars, who are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games, increased their lead in the division to two points. They have a three point lead over the ninth place Los Angeles Kings.

The Stars’ top line came up big again. Mike Ribeiro had two goals and one assist, Loui Eriksson had a goal and an assist and Michael Ryder chipped in two assists. Jamie Benn and Stephane Robidas also scored for the Stars. Richard Bachman stopped 29 of 31 shots for his eighth win of the season.

Bachman faced a test just 24 seconds into the game when Vancouver Zach Kassian was awarded a penalty shot, but the Canucks forward lost control of the puck and never got a shot off.

“I actually felt some jitters. It was the first NHL game I’ve started in Canada and the atmosphere was amazing. So, starting off with a penalty shot is never what you want to see,” Bachman said. “Once that was done it helped settle me in and after that first period I really got comfortable.”

The Stars and Canucks played a scoreless first and the Canucks struck first on a goal by Chris Higgins at the 6:45 mark of the second.

But the Stars scored two goals late in the second to take a lead they would never give up. The Stars scored on their second power play of the night to tie the game at the 16:44 mark. Trevor Daley’s centering pass from the right circle deflected off the skate of Loui Eriksson and past Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo.

Mike Ribeiro scored off a two-on-one with Michael Ryder to give the Stars a 2-1 lead with 23 seconds left in the second period.

“We’ll take that,” Ribeiro said of the two goals late in the second. “They are a team that likes to pinch and we were able to win those battles and create a two-on-one there.”

The Stars extended to the lead to 3-1 at 4:25 of the third when Steve Ott set up Jamie Benn, who beat Luongo with a shot from the left circle.

Alex Edler scored for the Canucks to make it a 3-2 game, but the Stars extended the lead once again. Ryder slipped by Daniel Sedin along the right boards in the Vancouver boards off the rush and put the puck towards the net, where Ribeiro tapped it to give the Stars a 4-2 lead with 8:49 remaining. Stephane Robidas scored a late empty net goal to seal the win and perfect road trip for the Stars.

“You definitely want to get as many points as you can, and we got them all on this trip,” said Benn. “We’re just playing a solid team game and everybody is buying in. That’s what you need at a time like this.”

Notes

*The Stars lost Trevor Daley for a good part of the first period after Canucks forward Alex Burrows fell on him during a scramble in front of the Dallas goal. Daley did return for the start of the second period.

*Excluding goals awarded for shootout victories, the Stars have outscored their opposition 26-12 during their eight-game points streak.

*The Stars were 3-3 on the penalty kill and are 13-13 over the last five games and are 23-24 on the PK over the last eight games.

*Michael Ryder picked up two assists to extend his points streak to seven games.

*The Stars are 9-0-1 against Canadian-based teams this season.

Stars rally to top Canucks in OT

February, 26, 2012
2/26/12
2:45
PM CT

The Dallas Stars made it a four straight wins, rallying from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in overtime. Mike Ribeiro tied the game with 52.5 seconds left in regulation and Loui Eriksson scored the winning goal with 1:08 left in overtime. Michael Ryder also scored for the Stars, who got a 24-save effort from Kari Lehtonen. The two points gave the Stars a two-point in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

First period

The Stars and Canucks played a competitive, scoreless first period.

The Stars got the first power play of the game midway through the first period and had some good chances, but couldn’t cash in. Tom Wandell had the best chance, but missed an open net with a backhand shot.

Vancouver’s Chris Higgins hit a post earlier in the period as he broke in on Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen.

Shots were 8-5 in favor of the Canucks through the first 20 minutes.

Second period

The Canucks scored 56 seconds into the second period with a goal off the rush. Ryan Kesler took a pass from Chris Higgins and put the puck in the net off the glove of Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen.

The Canucks got their first power play of the game midway through the second period, but Lehtonen made five saves to keep to keep it a 1-0 game.

But the Canucks made it a 2-0 game with 6:49 left in the second when Mason Raymond’s shot from near the left corner slipped through Lehtonen.

The Stars went on their second power play of the game late in the period and cashed in to cut the Canucks lead to 2-1. Mike Ribeiro set up Michael Ryder off the rush, and Ryder beat Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo with a one-timer from the left circle with 1:56 remaining in the period.

The Canucks outshot the Stars 9-8 in the second and had a 17-14 advantage through 40 minutes.

Third period

The Stars had a couple of chances to tie in the third period. Vernon Fiddler had a chance from the slot early in the period, but it was turned away by Luongo. Loui Eriksson hit a post with 2:47 remaining.

The Stars tied it with 52.5 seconds remaining when the Stars won an offensive zone draw, Alex Goligoski put the puck on net Mike Ribeiro deflected it past Luongo.

Overtime

The Stars won with 1:08 left in overtime when Trevor Daley set up Eriksson, who put the puck into the open side of the net to make it a 3-2 final.

Stars lineup

Eriksson-Ribeiro-Ryder
Ott-Wandell-Burish
Nystrom-Fiddler-Dvorak
Petersen-Garbutt-Vincour

Souray-Robidas
Goligoski-Larsen
Fistric-Daley

Lehtonen (starter)
Bachman

Scratched: Pardy
Injured: Dowell (finger), Morrow (neck/shoulder)

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