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Dallas Stars vs. Vancouver Canucks

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GAME: Dallas Stars (4-1-0) at Vancouver Canucks (3-1-1).

TIME: Sunday, 10:00 p.m. EDT.

Another 3-2 score would be fine with the Dallas Stars as long as it results in another victory as they visit the Vancouver Canucks in a matchup of teams off to strong starts.

Every game the Stars have played this season has been decided by one goal. They lost 3-2 to Colorado last Saturday, and the score has been the same in each of their last three games but they've won all three.

Dallas' latest 3-2 victory came over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. Johan Hedberg notched 34 saves in his season debut and Steve Ott scored the winning goal in the third period for the Stars.

Hedberg got his first start after coach Dave Tippett gave Marty Turco his first night off. It's likely Turco will be back in net against Vancouver.

"You try to stay even keel and not get too high about it," Hedberg said. "I have to be ready for the starts I get."

Turco will likely be opposed by Dan Cloutier, coming off a pair of poor performances as Vancouver had to play back-to-back games in Minnesota due to a scheduling quirk. Cloutier allowed all of the Wild's goals in Wednesday's 6-0 loss, and gave up three more goals on just 16 shots in Friday's rematch but the Canucks won 5-3.

With the score knotted 3-3 at the end of the second period, Vancouver's Richard Park scored the go-ahead goal early in the final period and Todd Bertuzzi added an empty-netter.

Bertuzzi's first goal of the season came one day after Steve Moore's lawsuit against him was dismissed by a Colorado judge.

"I was really happy for Todd," Park said. "He's come under a lot of scrutiny, and no one can put themselves in his shoes. Now that he got that first one (goal), I think you're going to see the old Todd."

Bertuzzi had 17 goals and 43 assists in 2003-04 before being suspended for the rest of that season for his vicious hit on Moore, who has not played in the NHL since the incident.

More contributions from Bertuzzi this season may help the Canucks improve their special-teams play. Entering Sunday's matchup, Vancouver is just 4-for-35 on the power play and 17-for-25 in penalty killing.

The Canucks, coming off a 2-1-1 road trip, now open a four-game homestand.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 14): Stars - 8 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Canucks - 7 points, 1st place, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Stars - five tied with 2 goals; Jason Arnott and Mike Modano, 5 assists and 6 points; Arnott, 23 PIM. Canucks - Markus Naslund, 5 goals and 7 points; Sami Salo, 4 assists; Bertuzzi, 13 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 14): Stars - Power play: 16.7 percent (5 for 30), 15th in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.1 percent (27 for 31), 11th (tied). Canucks - Power play: 11.4 percent (4 for 35), 24th. Penalty killing: 68.0 percent (17 for 25), 29th.

GOALTENDERS: Stars - Turco (3-1-0, 0 SO, 2.72 GAA); Hedberg (1-0-0, 0, 2.03). Canucks - Cloutier (2-1-0, 0, 3.46); Alexander Auld (1-0-0, 0, 2.03).

SEASON SERIES: Stars, 3-1.

LAST MEETING: March 27; Canucks, 3-2, OT. At Vancouver, Cloutier recorded 24 saves and Brendan Morrison scored in overtime.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Stars - 2-0-0 on the road; Canucks - 1-0-0 at home.


Associated Press

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