Canucks end four-game skid with rout of Stars
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Alexandre Burrows, Ryan Kesler and Christian Ehrhoff scored on Vancouver's first five shots, and the Canucks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 7-1 rout of the Dallas Stars on Monday night.
Henrik Sedin had a goal and two assists and Mikael Samuelsson (14 games) and Mason Raymond (11 games) and Dan Hamhuis (25 games) all ended long goal droughts for the Canucks, who did have three points during their slide (0-1-3).
Vancouver, which only has two regulation losses since Dec. 5, became the first team in the Western Conference with 30 wins. The Canucks remain atop the west with 69 points — five ahead of Detroit and six up on Dallas.
Roberto Luongo made 25 saves and hasn't lost in regulation in 16 games (11-0-5).
Brad Richards scored for the Stars, who were coming off a 7-4 loss in Calgary Friday night that snapped a franchise record eight-game road win streak.
Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen hadn't lost in regulation in seven games since being pulled after giving up four goals on 14 shots against Vancouver on Dec. 31. He was pulled for the final 6:48 of this game in favor of ex-Canucks backup Andrew Raycroft after giving up seven goals on 33 shots.
The way things started, it was surprising Lehtonen lasted that long.
Burrows opened the scoring on the first shot 1:18 in, firing a long, unscreened slap shot off the rush that knuckled past Lehtonen's waving glove.
Richards tied it six minutes later with a nice fake shot and backhand deke after a bad giveaway by Henrik Sedin left him alone in front of Luongo.
Vancouver hadn't even registered a second shot to that point, but the first of two straight Stars penalties ended that a minute later. Kesler deflected in Alex Edler's one-timer at 9:05, and Ehrhoff's one-timer beat Lehtonen low through Kesler's screen 82 seconds later.
The goals snapped a 0-for-10 drought for a Canucks' power play that came in ranked third in the NHL overall, but just 17th in the league on home ice.
Samuelsson ended a nearly month-long drought with a perfect shot over Lehtonen's blocker from the left faceoff dot 3:57 into the second period.
Henrik Sedin was credited with the first goal midway through the period after Lehtonen stopped him on a 2-on-1, only to have teammate Steve Ott knock the rebound into the net after diving back to try and break up the rush.
Alex Edler's point shot was deflected in with 8:55 left, and defenseman Hamhuis snapped in a power play rebound just over two minutes later, ending both a goal drought dating back to Dec. 1, and Lehtonen s night in goal.
Notes: Top-line Dallas LW Loui Ericksson returned after missing Friday's game with the flu. ... LW Jamie Benn left early in the second period after a big hit by Edler and did not return. ... Dallas C Mike Ribeiro's point streak was snapped at 11 games, ending the longest active run in the NHL. ... The Canucks honored ex-forward Thomas Gradin with a Ring of Honor spot in a pre-game ceremony. In addition to 550 points in 613 games between 1978 and 1986, Gradin still scouts for the team in his native Sweden.