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Canucks vs. Stars

Esa Lindell leads Stars past Canucks

Defenseman scores first NHL goal, picks up assist as Stars win 2-1

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars defenseman Esa Lindell had a unique experience in Friday night's game against Vancouver. He was awarded his first NHL goal twice. The first one was eventually changed to teammate Radek Faksa, but the second one remained his, and it was the game-winner as the Stars defeated the Canucks, 2-1, at American Airlines Center.

"It feels good," said Lindell, who scored from the left circle midway through the second period to give the Stars a 2-1 lead that would hold up the rest of the game.

The 22-year-old Lindell, who is in his first full NHL season, played 21:13 in the game, second highest total on the team. He registered one goal, one assist, two shots on goal, three shot attempts and three blocked shots.

"He was strong," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "A goal and an assist and I just thought he played a big man's game down low. He was strong on the body and won a lot of battles. The release on both goals, I don't think we score unless he releases it that quick, so I thought Esa did a real nice job for us."

Antti Niemi turned in a big performance in net for the Stars, stopping 30 shots including some big ones in the third period as the Canucks pressed for the game-tying goal.

"I thought it was a heck of a battle for about 50 minutes. When they started to pinch and got all five guys involved, we needed a couple big saves, and we got them," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff.

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game recap

Esa Lindell scores first NHL goal in Stars win

Defenseman also has assist against Canucks

by Sean Shapiro / Correspondent

DALLAS -- Esa Lindell had a goal and an assist to lead the Dallas Stars to a 2-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks at American Airlines Center on Friday.

The game-winning goal was Lindell's first career NHL goal in his 17th game. Radek Faksa also scored for Dallas and Antti Niemi made 30 saves in his fifth win of the season.

"It's been a long time since I've scored last time," Lindell said. "So this feels good."

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Niemi in goal tonight vs. Canucks

Ruff tweaks lines, defense pairs; Stars assign Johns to AHL

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Antti Niemi will get the start in goal tonight when the Dallas Stars take on the Vancouver Canucks at American Airlines Center. Niemi is 4-1-1 with a 2.13 goals-against average and .932 save percentage at home this season.

Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Niemi's numbers at home haven't gone unnoticed.

"We've talked about that as a staff, that he has played well at home," Ruff said. "Maybe that is something we keep going further with, but it's been noticeable."

The Stars will go with the same forwards and defense as last game, but there will be some juggling. On defense, Ruff is putting Esa Lindell and John Klingberg back together, and Jordie Benn will play with Jamie Oleksiak. Dan Hamhuis and Julius Honka will play together for a third straight game.

Up front, Patrick Eaves is expected to move up to the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Cody Eakin, who had been centering Benn and Seguin, is expected to center Patrick Sharp and Jason Spezza tonight.

The Stars will try to bounce back from Wednesday's 5-2 loss at Nashville. The Stars played well for a good part of the game, but mistakes proved costly.

"I'd just like to see us eliminate a couple of big mistakes," Ruff said. "For 80 percent of that game we were going really well. We have to - and this comes with the consistency - we have to eliminate the big defensive blunder, which has been really hurting us and keeping us from getting two or three wins in a row and getting rolling in the right direction."

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game preview

Preview: Canucks at Stars

Vancouver looks for second straight road win; Dallas juggles lines

by Sean Shapiro / Correspondent

CANUCKS (8-10-2) at STARS (8-8-5)

8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW+, SNP, NHL.TV

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Stars-Canucks Preview

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Vancouver Canucks at Dallas Stars
Friday, November 25
7:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (8-8-5) lost 5-2 at Nashville Wednesday despite outshooting the Predators 35-21, including 22-8 in the second period.

"You build off a lot of good stuff we did in the game, and there was a lot of good stuff in the game," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "Our energy was good. I thought from the second period on, our breakouts coming out of our own end [were] good. Just clean up a few mistakes."

Patrick Sharp and Brett Ritchie scored goals, and Kari Lehtonen stopped 16 of 20 shots for the Stars, who lost in regulation for just the second time in the past eight games (4-2-2).

The Stars held an optional practice Thursday morning. Forward Jiri Hudler skated with the team for the first time since going out of the lineup in early November due to illness.

The Stars play at home Friday and then head out on the road for games against St. Louis, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Colorado.

Injuries: D Johnny Oduya (lower body), RW Jiri Hudler (illness), C/LW Mattias Janmark (knee) and RW Ales Hemsky (hip) are on injured reserve.

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