Canucks pound Stars to end four-game skid
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:06 AM
The Philadelphia Flyers now have company atop the League standings.
and Christian Ehrhoff scored quick power-play goals Monday night as the Vancouver Canucks
ended a four-game losing streak by trouncing the Dallas Stars
7-1 at Rogers Arena.
Vancouver improved to 30-10-9 to tie idle Philadelphia for the over-all NHL lead as they handed the Stars their fourth straight loss in Vancouver. The Northwest Division leaders also moved five points ahead of Detroit and six ahead of Pacific Division-leading Dallas in the Western Conference.
The goals came just 81 seconds apart early in the first period against Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen
and gave the Canucks a 3-1 lead in a game featuring a pair of division leaders.
, who also had a pair of assists to run his league-leading total to 50, joined Alex Burrows, Mikael Samuelsson
, Mason Raymond
and Dan Hamhuis
among Vancouver's other scorers.
Samuelsson and Raymond ended lengthy goal droughts and Vancouver scored three on the power play as the Stars gave up seven goals for the second straight game.
"It was nice," Henrik Sedin
said. "We scored a few on the power play. We did the same things and we got a few bounces. That was the difference."
Brad Richards replied for the Stars, who had lost only seven of 33 games since Nov. 16.
The Stars dropped to 29-15-5 by losing their second straight game. Calgary ended their club-record string of eight road victories on Friday.
"You can't really explain it. Sometimes you have really bad games," Dallas coach Marc Crawford said. "For whatever reason, we couldn't find the energy that we needed to play with and as they started to build confidence, the game certainly got away from us. You're going to have nights like that. We know we were stinky tonight, we just have to throw it in the garbage and move forward."
Lehtonen, lifted from the Stars' 4-1 loss to the Canucks on Dec. 31 after yielding all of the goals on 14 shots, had a less-than-memorable night again.
The Canucks scored on their first shot for the second straight game as Burrows stepped over the blue-line and blew the puck past his glove.
He had faced only seven shots by the time Kesler and Ehrhoff gave the Canucks a 3-1 lead.
Kesler planted himself in front to tip Alex Edler's point blast for his career-high 27th goal and fourth in eight games. The Canucks are now 17-0-1 when Kesler scores a goal and 25-1-3 when he has a point.
Ehrhoff made it a two-goal advantage with a low point shot on a 4-on-3 power play.
"You feel good when you play a full 60 (minutes) and everybody's contributing," Kesler said. "That was the biggest thing -- everybody contributed tonight, whether it was a blocked shot, a goal or an assist or really just taking a hit to make a play. Everybody was doing the right things out there tonight."
The man-advantage goals came after Henrik Sedin
's defensive zone turnover along the side boards allowed Richards to tie the game. The Dallas center had time to make Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo
sprawl and beat him with a backhand.
Samuelsson broke a 14-game goal drought early in the second period. His quick shot over Lehtonen's blocker from the left face-off circle gave Vancouver a 4-1 edge.
"We had a game plan and we executed good," Samuelsson said. "We got away from that the last three or four games. We did it good tonight for 60 minutes, and it showed."
It didn't get any better for Lehtonen when teammate Steve Ott
desperately slid into his crease and Henrik Sedin
's rebound went in off his skate.
In the third period, Raymond got his first goal in 12 games when he circled the net to tip Edler's point shot.
Hamhuis's power-play goal chased Lehtonen at 13:12 of the third period. He was replaced by former Canucks goalie Andrew Raycroft
"Seven goals is a little bit too much, but we'll stick together," Stars forward Mike Ribeiro
said. "We need to bounce back. We get a win next game, we'll forget about this one. Details of the game hurt us today."
At the other end, Luongo was solid as the Stars were limited to 26 shots. One of his best saves came in the third period when he outguessed Loui Eriksson
and made a right pad save.
"Our special teams were kind of lackluster," Stars captain Brenden Morrow
said. "We have some things to clean up, that's for sure. It's not just another loss … we really took it on the chin. I think we were amped up, and that might have been part of the problem with taking penalties. We wanted to get off to a good start, but we gave them power play opportunities, and with the skill they have, they're going to make you pay."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.