Stars make it four in a row with OT win over Canucks
Sunday, 02.26.2012 / 5:42 PM
Steve Hunt - NHL.com CorrespondentDALLAS
-- Make it four in a row for the Dallas Stars
had a goal and an assist as the Stars earned their fourth straight victory with a 3-2 overtime win against the Vancouver Canucks
at the American Airlines Center on Sunday.
Eriksson's game-winner came at 3:52 of overtime when he beat the Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo
with a wrister for his 21st goal of the season. His goal came after Mike Ribeiro
had tied it at 2-2 with just 53 seconds remaining in regulation. Ribeiro also had a goal and an assist for Dallas.
"We know we need the points now and it was a big two points for us," Eriksson said. "For sure, that gives us confidence that we can score late and win the game. We just stuck with it and got the two points."
Sunday's win ended the Stars' seven-game losing streak against Vancouver, which had extended into the 2009-10 season. The Canucks got two assists from Chris Higgins
in the loss.
"It took us 59 minutes to get the second goal, but I thought we stuck with it for 60 minutes and we showed some resolve," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We got a result at the end and it's a big win for our hockey team going down the stretch."
After a scoreless opening period, Vancouver wasted little time taking the lead in the second when Ryan Kesler
blasted a 49-foot wrister from just inside the left circle past Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen
for his 19th goal of the season. Kesler's shot deflected off Lehtonen's glove before landing in the back of the Dallas net.
The visitors went on the power play for the first time at 10:01 of the second, when Ryder was guilty of a high stick on Vancouver's Dan Hamhuis
. The Canucks forced Lehtonen to make five saves during the man advantage, the biggest being the glove save he made on Alexander Edler
's long slapper at 11:19.
However, at 13:11 of the second, the Canucks again got the better of Lehtonen. This time, it was Raymond beating the Dallas goaltender with a wrister that went under Lehtonen's left shoulder to give Vancouver a two-goal edge.
After Higgins hooked Ribeiro at 16:37 of the second, Dallas made the visitors pay when Ryder blistered one-timer from the left circle, beating Luongo glove side at 18:04. Ryder's team-leading 25th of the season came after a stellar cross-ice pass from Ribeiro, who now has a seven-game point streak.
Dallas did an impressive job of holding Daniel and Henrik Sedin
in check for the entire 60 minutes. The Sedins finished the game with just one shot between them.
Eriksson had a solid chance off the rush at 17:13 of the third but his long wrister glanced off the right post.
Lehtonen left the net with 59 seconds remaining and just six seconds later, Ribeiro tied it up with tip-in from 16 feet, making it a 2-2 game. The Dallas center deflected Alex Goligoski
's blast from long range for his 14th goal of the season.
won a huge faceoff against a real good faceoff team," Gulutzan said. "Then Sheldon Souray
certainly got a lot of their attention on that draw and it opened up some other things. Alex Goligoski
made a great slap pass to Ribeiro, who went to the front of the net, a lot of great execution at the right time for us."
Luongo stopped 25 of 28 shots in a losing effort, while Lehtonen stopped 24 of 26 shots for the Stars.
"Well, we obviously made a couple mistakes there on the second and third goal," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "We had the game where we wanted it. We were going into the third with a one-goal lead and unfortunately we lost it."
Dallas is now one game away from equaling their season-long winning streak of five, a run they will look to equal on Wednesday when the Penguins visit the Lone Star State. But the Stars players know now is not the time to get too high after one win, even if it is over a West heavyweight like the Canucks.
"There's a lot of games left, so you cannot get satisfied with a few wins there," Ribeiro said. "It's focus on the next one. We have another big team coming in (Pittsburgh) and after that, it's a big road trip. You enjoy it and then re-focus for Wednesday."