Cory Schneider couldn't have done much more for the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night -- except maybe score a goal or two.
However, Schneider's position is goaltender -- and he played it extremely well in his first NHL start this season, turning aside 45 shots. But Brad Richards and Brenden Morrow scored goals to give the Dallas Stars a 2-1 win over the Canucks at AmericanAirlinesCenter.
Mason Raymond was the only Canuck to get Schneider some offensive support. His goal 8:14 into the third period ended Marty Turco's shutout bid, but it was all the offense Vancouver managed one night after winning 5-2 at Minnesota.
"It's only my sixth start, so this is part of the process," Schneider said. "I'll have some good ones and I'm sure a few bad ones along the way. This helps my confidence. I learned a lot tonight. You never know when you're going to get your next chance. You've got to make the most of it."
Meanwhile, the Stars continued to build confidence as they gained at least a point for the 13th time in 16 games (7-3-6) and stayed in the thick of a Pacific Division race that has the top four teams separated by just four points.
"We got a lead tonight, which helped a little bit," Richards said. "That's nice, because no matter how many saves (Schneider) is making, the first one kind of relaxes the bench a little bit and we realized that we can score on him."
It took some patience on the Stars' part, however, as Schneider continually frustrated them during a first period in which he made 22 saves. Turco stopped all 10 shots by the Canucks and the game stayed scoreless.
Richards finally broke through 8:05 into the second, converting Loui Eriksson's centering pass and beating Schneider on the Stars' 29th shot of the game.
"They were the quicker and more effective team in the first two periods," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "We had one player fresh and that was our goaltender. He had a great outing and gave us a chance to stay in it."
Dallas enjoyed a 40-16 advantage in shots after two periods, but instead of cruising to a blowout win, the Stars led by a single goal.
They finally got the insurance they needed when Mikael Samuelsson took a tripping penalty early in the third and Morrow struck from close-in at 3:50 for a power-play goal.
That one turned out to be the game-winner after Raymond beat Turco less than five minutes later. Vancouver had chances to tie, but the officials blew the whistle before Henrik Sedin jammed a shot past Turco and Dallas also killed off a pair of penalties, including a brief two-man disadvantage for 18 seconds.
In the end, the Stars knew they were fortunate to squeeze two points out of this one.
"I think we got lucky and caught a tired team on the road and we took advantage of that," Richards said.
The Canucks, who don't play again until Tuesday in St. Louis, looked like they could use the rest.
"It was one of those games where we didn't have it for 40 minutes," Vancouver's Ryan Kesler said. "Cory played an unbelievable game and that last 20 minutes, we left everything on the ice."
Material from wire services was used in this report