DALLAS – Daniel and Henrik Sedin scored power-play goals, and backup goalie Cory Schneider took care of the rest for the streaking Vancouver Canucks.
Schneider made 44 saves to bail out teammates who admitted they were outplayed for much of the game, and the Canucks went on to their fourth straight victory, 4-1 over the Dallas Stars on Friday night.
“Dallas was probably the better team overall for 60 minutes, but sometimes all you need is a good power play and a good goalie,” Daniel Sedin said.
Schneider was backed up by Roberto Luongo, who rejoined his teammates Friday. Luongo had been with his wife, Gina, who gave birth to a boy, the couple’s second child, on Wednesday in South Florida.
Schneider, 6-0-2 this season, stopped all 18 shots he faced in the second period, including James Neal’s penalty shot.
“Some nights you need your goaltender to steal you a win, and that’s what we got tonight, an outstanding performance from Schneids, who made the right saves at the right time,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “We needed him big tonight, and he came up big for us.”
Daniel Sedin and Raffi Torres had goals in a 47-second span late in the first period, and Vancouver went on to improve to 13-1-2 in its last 16 games, 6-0-1 on the road during that stretch.
Kevin Bieksa added a power-play goal for the Canucks, who went 3 for 5 with the man advantage.
Stars coach Marc Crawford said some ill-advised penalties drained momentum from his team.
“I think tonight we played a pretty strong game, but we had some adversity and it came in the form of penalties that were self-inflicted for the most part and we didn’t have any confidence in our penalty kill,” Crawford said. “I thought that maybe we were reading their press clippings about how good their power play is, and it seemed to me, we were back on our heels, and when we got aggressive on the penalty kill, I thought we killed much better.”
Brenden Morrow had a power-play goal for the Stars, 0-3-1 in their last four at home. Dallas was coming off a 7-3 loss Wednesday night to Detroit when the Stars gave up six straight goals.
The Sedins combined on the first period’s only power play to get their team rolling.
Henrik mis-hit a pass from the right circle that dribbled into the slot to Daniel, who fired the puck past goalie Kari Lehtonen at 17:11.
Vancouver didn’t waste any time making it 2-0 when Jannik Hansen’s stretch pass sent Torres in alone, and Torres beat Lehtonen with a backhander at 17:58.
Henrik struck on his team’s second power play of the night, converting Alexander Edler’s cross-ice pass for a 3-0 advantage at 9:52 of the second period.
Neal was awarded a penalty shot when he was tripped by Bieksa on a power-play breakaway at 13:39 of the second period, but Schneider came up with a pad save.
“I’ve seen him before come down that side. A lot of lefties try to pick low blocker,” Schneider said. “I was trying to take it away from him, make him go somewhere else, but he still went there so I was almost cheating a little bit.”
When Bieksa’s shot from the right point glanced off Morrow and past Lehtonen at 16:50 of the second period, Crawford sent in backup Andrew Raycroft.
Lehtonen has been one of the Stars’ best players in the opening three months, but has struggled in the last two games, allowing four goals on 14 Vancouver shots.
“He’s hit a point in the schedule where he hasn’t played the likes that we’ve seen from him in the past, and we know that he’s a great goalie,” Crawford said. “We know that he’s got it in him and I don’t think there’s any player on this team that doesn’t believe that he’s going to work his way through it.”
The Stars avoided the shutout on Morrow’s power-play goal at 3:21 of the third period.
NOTES: The Stars have hosted a New Year’s Eve game since 1997, going 8-4-2 in those games. … The teams met for the first time this season. … The Canucks opened a three-game trip.