Dominance: Canucks Beat Stars Again
It was another night of special teams dominance for the Vancouver Canucks, as they defeated the Dallas Stars 4-1.
Not only did the Canucks continue their red hot powerplay against the stars by scoring two PP goals, they also shone on the penalty kill, with Ryan Kesler scoring a shorthanded goal.
With the win, the Canucks moved two points past the Philadelphia Flyers for top spot in the NHL with 73 points.
The game opened up very slow and sluggish. The first period was a plodding, defensive struggle, with no team really outplaying the other.
Cody Hodgson, the former first round pick who was surrounded by all types of hype coming into the game, had a terrific chance early on a powerplay. He was left all alone in front of Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen, but couldn't get the puck to his forehand. The puck then slid underneath Lehtonen for a whistle. Hodgson had just under ten minutes of ice time, 2 shots, and was an even plus/minus rating.
In the second, on the powerplay, Mikael Samuelsson scored a goal that looked very similar to the one he scored the last time these two teams met. Samuelsson shot from a sharp angle, but shot right over Lehtonen's shoulder and under the bar; a perfect shot for Samuelsson's tenth.
2 minutes later, on another powerplay, it was Christian Ehrhoff scoring from the point. for his ninth of the season.
The stars would respond three minutes later. Loui Erikkson, recently voted as the league's most underrated player, scored his 18th on a 2 on 1. Erikkson's shot was a thing of beauty, completely beating Vancouver netminder Cory Schneider. Schnieder finished the night with eighteen saves.
Ryan Kesler got it back for the 'Nucks soon after, as he and Jannik Hansen skated in 2 on1, shorthanded, on Lehtonen. Hansen fed the puck to Kesler, who snapped it in the net for his 28th of the year.
In the third, it was mostly quiet, except for a beautiful give and go play involving Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows. Sedin fed the puck to Burrows in front, who then did a little deke, and slipped the puck five hole on Lehtonen.
The Canucks play again tonight in Phoenix against the Coyotes.
Notes: The Canucks have outscored Dallas 15-3 in all three meetings this year.. Cory Schneider snapped a personal two game losing streak.. Daniel Sedin had two assists, and is two points back of Steven Stamkos in the Art Ross Race.