The Dallas Stars' five-game road trip ended the same way it started - with an overtime loss. Vancouver tied the game with 1:40 left in regulation and then Markus Granlund scored 1:27 into the extra period as the Canucks rallied from 3-1 and 4-3 deficits to defeat the Stars, 5-4, at Rogers Arena Sunday afternoon.
Vancouver's Troy Stecher scored the game-tying goal late in regulation. With the Vancouver net empty and an extra attacker on the ice, he slipped around Stars captain Jamie Benn at the right point and scored off a blast from the top of the right circle. In overtime, Granlund dug out the puck after an offensive zone faceoff and whipped it past Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen from the left circle to end the Stars' winning streak at two games and end the Canucks' ten-game losing streak against Dallas.
"We were right there," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "We made a little mistake on [Stecher's goal], just on coverage going out to the point. If we played that better, that puck definitely doesn't go in. Maybe they get a crack at another one, but not that one."
The Stars, playing their fourth game in the past six days and sixth in the past nine, built a 3-1 lead through two periods but started to look low on fuel in the third, when the Canucks outscored them 3-1 to get the game to extra playing time.
"We missed some really good opportunities in the first 40 [minutes], from breakaways to a backdoor empty net on the power play," Ruff said. "I could sense even late in the second that the energy of our team was dropping and we've had a tough grind here in the last six days. I just thought their skating was a little better than ours going down the stretch."
The Stars (6-6-4) picked up six of a possible ten points on their five-game road trip by going 2-1-2. They fell to 0-4 in 3-on-3 overtime this season. Patrick Eaves scored two goals and Lauri Korpikoski, and Antoine Roussel also scored. Tyler Seguin recorded three assists. Lehtonen got the start in goal and stopped 25 of 30 shots.
The Canucks (6-9-1) won for just the second time in their past 12 games (2-9-1). Granlund, Bo Horvat and Brandon Sutter each had one goal and one assist for Vancouver.
"Dallas had our number lately," said Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins. "I don't know if it was a must-win, but it certainly was a big win for us, and we needed to score some goals. It was good we battled in the third. I thought we showed great resiliency to stay with it."
There were some offensive fireworks early in the game with the two teams combining for three goals in 42 seconds. Eaves scored off a scramble in front of Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller to put the Stars up 1-0 at the 5:43 mark. Horvat answered 22 seconds later, scoring on Lehtonen off the rush to make it a 1-1 game. Then, 20 seconds later, Korpikoski beat Miller from the left circle off the rush and the Stars had a 2-1 lead at the 6:25 mark.
The Stars extended the lead to 3-1 at the 15:04 mark of the second when Seguin sent a slick pass from the wing off the rush to Eaves, who scored from close range for his second of the game.
Miller came up with a couple of big saves on Roussel to keep the Canucks within two goals and Vancouver took advantage, scoring twice to tie. Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak turned the puck over in the Dallas zone, and Granlund set up Loui Eriksson, who scored from the bottom of the left circle at 3:26 of the third to make it a 3-2 game. Sutter tied the game 3-3 with a power-play goal at the 6:06 mark, scoring from the slot.
But Stars went ahead 4-3 at the 11:49 mark when Seguin sent the puck on net from the right boards and Roussel knocked it past Miller.
The Canucks thought they had tied it 63 seconds later on an Alex Burrows goal, but the Stars challenged for goaltender interference and won, resulting in the goal being waved off. But Vancouver got the equalizer with 1:40 remaining on Stecher's goal. That got it to overtime, where Granlund won it.
"We sat back a little bit, and they kept coming," said Stars defenseman Dan Hamhuis. "They played well in the third and got it to overtime and took it."
Notes: Canucks play video tribute to Hamhuis
*The Canucks played a video tribute to Stars defenseman Dan Hamhuis during Sunday's game. Hamhuis, who signed with the Stars in the offseason, had played the six previous seasons in Vancouver. Fans gave Hamhuis a big ovation after the video tribute.
"That was really nice," Hamhuis said. "I certainly appreciate the support I got here playing in the city and the opportunities the organization gives you to work in the community and make a difference."
*Stars forward Antoine Roussel extended his points streak to six games (3 goals, 5 assists) and his goal scoring streak to three games.
*Tyler Seguin extended his points streak to five games (2 goals, 6 assists).
*Lauri Korpikoski extended his goal scoring streak to three games.
*The Canucks outshot the Stars 30 to 21 and had a 57-40 advantage in shot attempts.
*The Stars were 0-2 on the power play and 2-3 on the penalty kill.
*The Stars won 28 of 59 faceoffs (47 percent).
*Tyler Seguin won 8 of 13 faceoffs (62 percent). Radek Faksa won 12 of 24 (50 percent). Devin Shore won 5 of 10 (50 percent).
*John Klingberg led the Stars with 24:56 of ice time. Dan Hamhuis was next with 24:06.
The Stars return to Dallas for a four-game homestand that begins Tuesday when they take on the New Jersey Devils at American Airlines Center. The Stars also play Colorado, Edmonton, and Minnesota.
Jamie Benn - Radek Faksa - Lauri Korpikoski
Antoine Roussel - Tyler Seguin - Patrick Eaves
Curtis McKenzie - Devin Shore - Brett Ritchie
Gemel Smith - Justin Dowling - Adam Cracknell
Dan Hamhuis - John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya - Patrik Nemeth
Jamie Oleksiak - Jordie Benn
Scratched: Stephen Johns, Esa Lindell
Injured: Patrick Sharp (concussion), Jason Spezza (lower body), Jiri Hudler (illness), Cody Eakin (knee), Mattias Janmark (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip)
This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.