Friday, February 15, 2013
Dallas Stars 4, Vancouver Canucks 3
Stars' youth movement pays off in huge come-from-behind win in Vancouver.
The Dallas Stars' youngest players rose to the occasion Friday night in Vancouver as they defeated the Canucks 4-3 in the final game of a three-game Western Canadian road trip. The win was their fifth in their last six games and improved Dallas to 8-6-1 on the season. Vancouver fell to 8-3-2.
Dallas opened the scoring at 16:51 of the first period following a strange sequence of events. Stars backup netminder Richard Bachman, who came in for starter Kari Lehtonen after Lehtonen apparently injured his groin midway through the first period, allowed a goal that was called back due to an extremely questionable goalie interference ruling. On the very next shift, Stars rookie Reilly Smith skated down the boards and wristed a puck that got past Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider for his first NHL goal and a 1-0 lead.
The Stars collapsed in the first half of the second period, giving up goals to Daniel Sedin, Chris Higgins and Alexandre Burrows in a brutal span of 6:37. Henrik Sedin got two of the primary assists, giving him ten on the year and putting him one point ahead of Marcus Naslund as the Canucks' all-time leading scorer. Following the third goal, the Vancouver crowd gave Sedin an extensive standing ovation that lasted throughout most of the second period.
The tide turned at 15:09 of the second, however, when the Stars' entire third line of Ryan Garbutt, Vernon Fiddler and Eric Nystrom got into three consecutive fights in three seconds. The three fights in three seconds broke the NHL record of three fights in four seconds, set by the Stars against the Boston Bruins in a forgettable game in 2008.
The fights seemed to energize the Stars, who aggressively carried the play for the remainder of the game. Cody Eakin got the Stars to within on at 17:50 of the second when Trevor Daley's shot from the blue line was bobbled by Schneider. Eakin swooped in and bakchanded it behind the Vancouver netminder for his second goal of the year and a 3-2 game.
After several near-misses, Dallas finally got the equalizer at 12:22 of the third when Eakin battled for a puck along the boards, got it to Michael Ryder who put it on net, where it was then pushed into the goal by Antoine Roussel for his second goal and a 3-3 tie. Then, at 16:69 with the extra attacker, Jamie Benn found British Columbia native and rookie Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon on the backdoor. Dillon converted the shot for his third goal of the year and the 4-3 win. Vancouver never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
Lehtonen finished with seven saves on seven shots, and it isn't known whether he will be ready for Dallas' next game, Sunday afternoon against the Calgary Flames in Dallas. Bachman overcame some initial shakiness to put up 18 saves on 21 shots for his first win of the season. Schneider made 25 saves on 29 shots to fall to 4-3-0.