DALLAS – The Vancouver Canucks used a third-period rally to stop their losing streak.
Jason Garrison and Henrik Sedin scored third-period goals to help the Canucks overcome a 2-1 second-period deficit en route to a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday.
Alex Burrows and Kevin Bieksa also scored for the Canucks, who ended a three-game losing streak (0-1-2), including a 4-3 decision to the Stars in which they squandered a 3-1 lead in Vancouver on Feb. 15.
“I think it was important for our team to put together a better two-way effort and I thought we did that tonight,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “Even though we started off on our heels a little bit, I thought the guys responded after that.”
And despite giving up the first goal just 35 seconds into the game, Cory Schneider bounced back and made 22 saves for the win.
“It’s never good to give up a goal in the first minute of the game, so it was good to show some resilience and we didn’t crack under that,” Schneider said. “It was nice to sort of return the favour and come back on them a couple of times in their building.”
Jamie Benn, Michael Ryder and Brenden Morrow scored for Dallas, which lost for the third time in its past four games.
“I thought that we had chances to get ahead and maybe stay ahead, but we didn’t convert,” Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said. “But overall, I thought that our work ethic was strong tonight and we improved certainly some of the things we’ve had for a couple of days in practice but it’s a result-based business and we didn’t get the result.”
Cristopher Nilstorp, who was recalled from AHL Texas on Sunday, stopped 18 shots.
“I think we played a really good game. The guys battled hard,” said Nilstorp, who is 0-3-0 in his first three NHL starts. “This is a game where you deserved points, but this is hockey and sometimes you play well but you don’t get the points, and this is one of those games. It’s kind of frustrating.”
The Canucks broke a 2-2 tie by scoring twice within a 1:46 span early in the third period.
Garrison snapped the tie at 2:32 when his slap shot from the left point beat a screened Nilstorp over the blocker for his second goal of the season, giving the Canucks their first lead of the game.
Henrik Sedin got his second of the season at 4:18, completing a pretty passing play with Burrows on a 2-on-1 rush with an easy tap-in into an open net to make it 4-2.
Dallas pulled within one at 6:07 of the third, when Morrow stripped the puck off Ryan Kesler’s stick in front of the Canucks’ goal and quickly swept it past Schneider for his fourth goal.
“Obviously that was a tough bounce on that last one, it’s completely my fault,” said Kesler, who had two assists. “Bad bounce, bad luck, whatever you want to chalk it up to, but I’ll take credit for that one. I told Schneids that one’s on me.”
The Stars had a late power-play opportunity when Bieksa was whistled for interference at 14:51, but Dallas was unable to muster a shot on goal during the advantage.
A Derek Roy hooking penalty with 2:01 remaining effectively negated any chance Dallas had at mounting a late comeback.
“Well, we just wanted to get that (equalizer),” said Benn, who has five goals in the past eight games. “They’re not easy to score, those goals. We kind of take a penalty in there and shoot ourselves in the foot.”
Benn put the Stars on top just 35 seconds into the opening period with a spectacular goal, his fifth of the season.
After picking up the puck at the left point, Benn stickhandled his way through four Canucks, working his way to the right side of the crease before lifting a wrist shot through a tiny opening over Schneider’s shoulder.
“He’s such a dangerous player,” Schneider said. “He’s unpredictable, you don’t know if he’s going to shoot or make a move like that.”
Vancouver tied it at 1 on Burrows’ power-play goal at 8:29. Seconds after Daniel Sedin clanked a one-timer off the crossbar, Burrows camped out in front of the net and managed to deflect Alexander Edler’s shot from the left point past Nilstorp.
Ryder’s fifth of the season—and first in nine games—pushed the Stars back in front at 2:39 of the second. Just seconds after Nilstorp made a nice pad save on David Booth’s wrist shot, the Stars raced down the other end and Ryder wound up with the puck in the slot. His backhand found its way through a screen in front and beat Schneider through the pads.
The Canucks tied it again at 7:05 when Bieksa notched his fifth goal. With the teams skating 4-on-4, Bieksa beat the Stars’ defence, held off a poke-check attempt from Philip Larsen and slid a backhand through Nilstorp’s pads.
“It was a bad goal, that second one. Everyone could see that,” said Nilstorp. “But you have to move on and focus on the next shot.”
Each goaltender made outstanding saves later in the second to keep the game at 2-2. Schneider made a nice skate save on Benn at 12:55 and Nilstorp denied Burrows’ breakaway attempt at 17:35.
I saw him at the side, thought maybe he would tip it and sure enough, he pulls it,” Schneider said. “Somehow I swung my leg around and got a toe on it. It was a little bit of luck, but I was able to stay with him.”
Notes: Canucks LW Jannik Hansen served his one-game suspension for his roughing penalty that knocked Chicago’s Marian Hossa out of their game on Tuesday. … Dallas outshot the Canucks 25-22, marking the fifth time in its past six games Dallas outshot its opponent. The Stars had been outshot in each of their first 11 games. … Former Dallas G Marty Turco was honoured before the game for being voted to the franchise’s all-time team and received a standing ovation.