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Esa Lindell scores first NHL goal in Stars win

Defenseman also has assist against Canucks

by Sean Shapiro / NHL.com 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."

 

WATCH: All Canucks vs. Stars highlights

 

Niemi made 14 saves in the third period, including a sprawling pad save on Alexandre Burrows with 2:52 remaining.

Jayson Megna scored at 5:01 of the first period when he skated past Stars defenseman Dan Hamhuis and beat Niemi with a backhand to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead. It was Megna's first goal since Jan. 5, 2016, when he scored against the Stars when he played for the New York Rangers.

"Just got a really nice pass from Bo [Horvat] there. He put it right behind the defenseman and it was a nice little area pass," Megna said. "Kind of caught the D in an awkward position there and was able to get around [Niemi] and drive the net."

Faksa scored on a deflection at 9:32 of the second period to tie the game at 1-1. Lindell took the initial shot from the point and Faksa redirected the puck in the high slot past Ryan Miller's right pad.

Video: VAN@DAL: Faksa redirects Lindell's shot into the net

The goal was originally credited to Lindell on the scoresheet and announced on the public address system as his first career NHL goal before it was changed to Faksa.

"I felt a little bad, but I need the goal, too, you know?" Faksa said. "I'm happy for Esa. He got the other one after. So I don't feel guilty anymore."

Lindell got his goal at 15:58 of the second period. He took a wrist shot and beat Miller on the stick side when Patrick Eaves set a screen. Jamie Benn and John Klingberg had the assists.

"The release on both of the goals, I don't think he scores unless the release is that quick," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "Esa did a real nice job for us."

Miller made 26 saves.

Video: VAN@DAL: Megna cuts in and scores with smooth finish

 

Goal of the game

Lindell wasn't sure he scored the game-winning goal because he thought the puck may have hit Eaves in front of the net. "It feels good if it was my goal, but Eaves said it might have touched him," Lindell said as he held the puck. "I hope I don't have to give it to Patty."

Video: VAN@DAL: Lindell lasers first career goal past Miller

 

Save of the game

Niemi made one of his toughest saves on Jack Skille at 4:50 of the third period. Skille carried the puck around a defender and took a close-range shot that Niemi stopped with his left pad.

 

Highlight of the game

Niemi helped seal the victory with 2:50 remaining when he stopped Burrows with his right pad. It was the second big save Niemi made on Burrows in the third period after he stopped him on a scramble with 6:38 remaining.

Video: VAN@DAL: Niemi makes a sensational pad save

 

Unsung moment of the game

The Stars' penalty kill finished off the game when Patrick Sharp was called for hooking with 1:57 remaining. Vancouver pulled Miller for a 6-on-4 advantage, but only had a pair of shots against Niemi.

 

They said it

"We were tracking the puck really hard. We didn't give them a whole lot of chances. This is a team that [wants] to play on the fly and they want to get chances that way, but we stayed above and we took away a lot of their speed. We created a lot of chances our way because of that." -- Henrik Sedin on the Canucks game

 

"I thought our push in the second period really was a difference-maker. And our second periods have been an issue with us." -- Stars coach Lindy Ruff

 

Need to know

Canucks forward Sven Baertschi missed the game with a foot injury. He is day-to-day after blocking a shot against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday. … The Canucks recalled forward Alexandre Grenier from the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League, but he did not play. … Prior to the game, the Stars assigned defenseman Stephen Johns to the AHL's Texas Stars.

 

What's next

Canucks: At the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, ALT, NHL.TV)

Stars: At the St. Louis Blues on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NHL Network, SN, TV-AS, FS-MW, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Lindell, Faksa lead Stars from behind for 2-1 win

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