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Stars end skid with 4-2 win over Canucks

Jamie Benn suffers upper-body injury in game, status for Friday is unclear

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

There's nothing like a game against the Vancouver Canucks to get the Dallas Stars back on track. The Stars snapped their three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Canucks Thursday night at Rogers Arena.

Tyler Seguin's power-play goal at 9:07 of the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and held up as the game-winner as the Stars ran their points streak to 13 games (12-0-1) against the Canucks. Ales Hemsky, Esa Lindell, and Radek Faksa also scored for the Stars, and Kari Lehtonen stopped 26 of 28 shots as the Stars bounced back from a 7-1 loss at Edmonton on Tuesday and a 5-1 loss at San Jose on Sunday.

"We needed to respond," said Stars center Jason Spezza, who had two assists. "We were embarrassed by the last two games and the season in general. To get a response, that was a good sign for the group and something to build off as we go to [Calgary] to play a team that is going really well right now."

The news wasn't all good for the Stars (28-32-10). They lost captain Jamie Benn to an upper-body injury late in the second period. There wasn't much of an update after the game.   

"He'll be assessed for Friday's game in the morning," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff.

The Canucks (28-33-9) lost their fifth straight game, all of them at home.

"We wanted to concentrate on our effort tonight and it was there," said Canucks forward Daniel Sedin. "We have to find a way to score more dirty goals and get more power plays."

The Dallas penalty kill came up big early, killing off a four-minute Vancouver power play after Adam Cracknell took a double minor for high sticking 3:01 into the game. The Stars opened the scoring at 8:41 of the first when Hemsky won a puck race and scored off the rush for his first goal of the season, putting the Stars up 1-0.

The Canucks tied the game 1-1 at 13:27 of the first. After a strong push by Vancouver in the Dallas zone, Sven Baertschi scored off the rebound of a close range shot by defenseman Nikita Tryamkin.

The Stars regained the lead with just 7.2 seconds before the first intermission on a goal by Lindell, who beat Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller with a shot from the left point.

The second period was eventful. The Stars lost defenseman John Klingberg briefly when he took a shot to the leg off the stick of Canucks defenseman Alex Edler. Klingberg missed the final five minutes of the second period but returned for the start of the third and finished the game.

Benn got rocked on a hit by Tryamkin and then dropped the gloves with the 6-7, 270-pound defenseman. Benn did not return after the fight due to the upper-body injury, but Ruff wasn't sure if Benn was injured in the fight.

"We don't know for sure," Ruff said. "This might be something that happened in one of the earlier games. We don't know for sure."

As for the fight, Ruff was on board.

"I liked it," he said. "It sends a message to the team. The fight is still on; you've got to win games and play hard. It starts with the leaders of the team. He went out, and that was a pretty big dude he fought."

The Canucks scored to tie the game with 1.9 seconds remaining in the second. After Faksa took an interference penalty in the offensive zone with 58 seconds left in the period, Canucks forward Ben Hutton backhanded the puck past Lehtonen during a scramble in front of the Dallas net to make it a 2-2 game.

The Stars dominated the third period, outshooting the Canucks 20-9 and getting goals from Sequin and Faksa to put Vancouver away. The Stars scored on their only power play of the night when Seguin took a pass from Klingberg and scored off a blast from just beyond the top of the left circle to put the Stars up 3-2 at the 9:07 mark.

"We had great puck movement," said Klingberg. "It's huge, on the road and we've been struggling. That's what you need."

The Stars made it 4-2 when Devin Shore forced a turnover in the Vancouver end and backhanded the puck to Faksa, who scored from close range with 4:29 remaining. And the Stars shut it down the rest of the way.

"We bounced back the way we wanted," said Klingberg. "I think we played a really good game today."


*Ales Hemsky's goal was his first in the regular season since March 24, 2016.

*Tyler Seguin's goal was his 24th of the season, tying him with Jamie Benn for the team lead.

*The Stars outshot the Canucks 36-28. Vancouver had a 59-49 advantage in shot attempts.

*Seguin led the Stars with six shots on goal and seven shot attempts.

*The Stars were 1-1 on the power play and 2-3 on the penalty kill.

*The Stars won 32 of 67 faceoffs (48 percent).

*Esa Lindell and John Klingberg were both a plus-three in the game.

*Lindell led the Stars with 23:45 of ice time.

What's Next

The Stars wrap up their four-game road trip Friday night in Calgary against the Flames, who just had a ten-game winning streak snapped with a loss to Boston on Wednesday. This will be the third and final meeting of the season between the Stars and Flames. Both teams have one once in the season series.

Stars Lineup

Jamie Benn - Jason Spezza - Tyler Seguin
Remi Elie - Cody Eakin - Ales Hemsky
Devin Shore - Radek Faksa - Patrick Sharp
Curtis McKenzie - Adam Cracknell - Brett Ritchie

John Klingberg - Esa Lindell
Dan Hamhuis - Jamie Oleksiak
Patrik Nemeth - Stephen Johns

Kari Lehtonen
Antti Niemi

Scratched: Jiri Hudler, Greg Pateryn
Injured: Antoine Roussel (hand), Mattias Janmark (knee)

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 reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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