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Stars top Canucks on Seguin's shootout goal

by Steve Hunt /

DALLAS -- The Vancouver Canucks still can't find a way to beat the Dallas Stars.

For the second time this season, Vancouver came away with a point against Dallas, this time in a 3-2 shootout loss on Friday at American Airlines Center. But it felt like one that got away from the Canucks, who have now lost nine straight to the Stars.

"Both games we've played well here and we've only come away with a point in overtime. It's a little bit frustrating," said Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller, who made 23 saves.

Vancouver also lost 4-3 in overtime in Dallas on Oct. 29 after blowing a 3-1 lead early in the third period.

Tyler Seguin scored the only goal in the shootout, starting the tiebreaker with a wrist shot from the slot through Miller's five-hole.Antti Niemi stopped attempts byAlexandre Burrows,Radim Vrbata and Chris Higgins.

Dallas (18-5-0), which finished its three-game homestand 2-1-0, got goals fromJamie Benn andJason Spezza. Patrick Sharp had two assists and Niemi made 34 saves.

"I thought he was excellent. Did a great job, and made some big saves," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said of Niemi. "Obviously, he was a big part of that win for us."

Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin scored for the Canucks (9-8-7). Henrik Sedin's power-play goal with 4:10 remaining in the third period tied the game 2-2.

Special teams were a big factor; Dallas' power play was 2-for-5 and Henrik Sedin's tying goal came with the Canucks up a man. Vancouver also killed off a penalty in overtime.

"We got the last one on the power play though. It [our special teams play] was good, power play got the last one, penalty kill had a big kill in overtime. We finished on a positive note in both those [categories]," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "Our special-teams guys; got to be a little better, but they got the big ones when we needed them. They were both big, the big kill and the big goal."

Dallas took a 1-0 lead when Seguin's power-play wrist shot deflected off Benn's left leg and went past Miller at 15:27 of the first period. It was Benn's League-leading 17th goal and extended his point streak to seven games.

"I thought our special teams were real good. I thought our penalty-killing did a great job," Ruff said. "It was a different night. You're going to have games like this where you end up a lot of special teams. It takes a lot of players out of the game."

Earlier in the period, the Stars killed off a four-minute Vancouver power play after Benn caught Chris Tanev in the side of the head with a high stick and was assessed a double minor.

"Our timing is off [on the power play]," Henrik Sedin said. "We're not executing when we need to. You can talk about outworking the other team, but if you have an extra man out there, you got to be able to use the guys that are open. We had a tough time setting up. We stuck with it, but it wasn't good enough."

Vancouver capitalized on a turnover by Stars defenseman John Klingberg at 3:10 into the second to tie the game. Jannik Hansen intercepted Klingberg's backhand pass in the middle of the Stars zone and fed an onrushing Daniel Sedin, who tied the game with his 11th goal of the season.

"It wasn't pretty tonight, but at times we were playing well," Benn said. "The biggest thing is we found a way to win and get two points."

Spezza gave Dallas a 2-1 lead at 11:52 of the second when he picked the top right corner with a slap shot from the right circle, beating Miller to his short side with the Stars on the power play. It was his ninth goal of the season. Niemi preserved the lead at 16:25 when he robbed Alexander Edler with a spectacular windmill glove on a slap shot from the high slot.

"Just a tight little spot, and saw him [Miller] leaning a little bit," Spezza said. "That's a shot I've used before."

Each goaltender came up big in overtime. Niemi made a diving save on Canucks defenseman Dam Hamhuis at 2:25 as he attempted to end the game with a shot from near the Dallas blue line after he intercepted the goaltender's attempted pass. Miller then denied Benn twice at the near post during a Dallas power play after Vancouver was called for too many men.

"I didn't panic," Niemi said of his sprawling OT save. "[I was] just hoping for the best."

Dallas, now 10-2-0 at home, remains the only team in the NHL that hasn't lost consecutive games this season. The Stars visit the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

"For the most part, I was [happy]," Ruff said. "The game was so disjointed, it's really hard to break that one down. I thought both goaltenders made some big saves at opportune times. Jason Spezza could have put the game away two or three different times for us, but Miller made some great saves. And then I thought Antti kept them out there and gave us a chance to put it away."

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