Nic Dowd’s second-period goal stood up as the winner, as the Vancouver Canucks earned a 4-1 win over the host Dallas Stars in NHL action Sunday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Reid Boucher, Jake Virtanen and Tyler Motte also scored for the Canucks (27-40-9). Mattias Janmark had the lone goal for Dallas (38-30-8). The loss put a huge crimp into the playoff hopes for the Stars, who remain five points out of the final wildcard spot in the league’s Western Conference.
Jacob Markstrom was sharp in picking up the goaltending win for Vancouver, making 30 saves. Kari Lehtonen made 23 saves and took the loss.
The Stars opened the scoring at 16:54 of the first period, when Janmark scored his 19th of the season, on a shorthanded breakaway, with Stephen Johns off for tripping Jussi Jokinen.
Vancouver equalized on the same power play just 30 seconds later, when Boucher - with his third of the year - redirected a Jokinen pass behind Lehtonen to make it 1-1. All three of Boucher’s goals this year have come against the Stars.
Shots on goal after 20 minutes were 11-11.
The only goal of the second period came on another Vancouver power play at 14:43, when Dowd knocked home a loose puck after Troy Stecher fired a shot from the point. It was the third goal of the year for Dowd.
Dallas held an 11-8 shots advantage in the middle frame.
Vancouver upped their lead to 3-1 with a soft goal from Virtanen. After a dump-in, Virtanen got the puck along the right boards and lifted a weak shot on goal that somehow found its way past Lehtonen. It was the young Vancouver forward’s ninth tally of the year.
Dallas pulled their goalie with just under three minutes to play, but were unable to beat Markstrom. Motte put things away with his first goal as a Canuck, into an empy net, with 41 seconds to play.
CANUCKS: Daniel Sedin of the Canucks is the fourth Swedish-born player in NHL history to reach the 1,300-game milestone, joining Nicklas Lidstrom (1,564), Mats Sundin (1,346) and Henrik Sedin (1,324)… The Canucks were without injured players Chris Tanev, Sven Baertschi, Brendan Leipsic, Loui Eriksson, Ben Hutton, Brock Boeser and Erik Gudbranson… Vancouver’s American Hockey League farm team, the Utica Comets, qualified for the AHL playoffs with a 4-3 win Sunday over the Binghamton Devils.
STARS: Dallas was without injured regulars goalie Ben Bishop and forward Jason Spezza… Alex Radulov had four shots on goal to lead the Stars on the night.