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The Goods: Downed in Dallas

Sunday, 02.26.2012 / 7:30 PM PT / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Downed in Dallas
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That’s a tough pill to swallow.

The Vancouver Canucks dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Dallas Stars Sunday in a matinee game at American Airlines Center in the fifth game of a six game trip.

The Canucks led 2-1 with less than a minute to play before the Stars got the tying goal past Roberto Luongo with 53 seconds left on the clock in regulation. Dallas was all over Vancouver late in the game and the Stars were able to carry that pressure into overtime.

The Stars outshot the Canucks 4-0 in the extra session before a tic-tac-toe play between Steve Ott, Trevor Daley and Loui Eriksson led to the game-winner, scored with 68 seconds remaining before a shootout.

This was all but a perfect road game for the Canucks, the Stars, clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the
Western Conference, simply wanted more.

“They’re a desperate team, they’re playing for their playoff lives,” said Luongo, who made 25 saves, yet couldn’t prevent Vancouver’s first loss of the season when leading after
40 minutes. “They’re in playoff mode already, you’ve got to give them credit, they battled until the end and found a way to get the job done.”

Ryan Kesler opened the scoring with his 19th goal of the season less than a minute into the second period to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead; Mason Raymond followed that up
with his second goal in as many games, which looked like it might stand as his second straight game-winner.

The Stars replied late in the second and again late in the third before icing their fourth consecutive win in overtime.

This is the first time Dallas has taken down Vancouver in seven games as the Canucks had a three-game winning streak in Big D snapped. This was also the first meeting of the season between the two and a quirky schedule has them meeting another three times before the end of the regular season.

With this being a potential first round preview, the games are going to be must see hockey.

“They’re going to be intense games and we’re going to get really familiar with one-another,” said Kesler, who was proud of his team’s effort.

“We had our legs tonight, I thought the score could have easily been 4-0, we hit posts, we hit a lot of bar tonight and we missed some Grade-A opportunities. That’s going to happen.

“We’re a good team, we’re going to learn from this and move on.”

By the time Vancouver and Dallas meet next on Tuesday, March 6th, the Canucks should be a little more refreshed, not that the team is using fatigue as an excuse for the loss.

“It’s been a tough trip, we’ve been all over the country and played a lot of games in not a lot of nights, so it’s good we got a point, but I thought we deserved two,” said Chris Higgins, who had a pair of assists.

“We were due to lose one in the last minute, but it never sits well. I thought we did a good job of limiting their opportunities, but they stuck with it and got the big goal at the

Vancouver wraps up its six-game road trip in Phoenix Tuesday night.


Everybody is back to loving Raymond.

The speedy forward scored in his second straight game Sunday after going 11 consecutive outings with a goal. The slump had people calling for Raymond’s head and he became the talk of the town as the trade deadline approached.

Raymond feels good about his game going into Monday’s trade circus and he isn’t losing any sleep over the deadline.

“My game seems to be improving the last little while and I just want to keep improving and building on what I’m doing,” said Raymond. “It doesn’t matter what everybody else says, you control what you control, whatever happens, happens.”

The 26-year-old didn’t give in to the media when they danced around a possible trade out of Vancouver, but he did say he’s heard his name thrown around.

“We’re in a hockey market, playing in Vancouver, I’ve heard it,” he said. “But I’m not going to speculate. If it happens, it’s out of my control.”


Sunday really was funday – or funny day in the case of Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.

Near the end of the first period of Vancouver’s game in Dallas, Sportsnet cameras caught the Canucks bench boss busting a gut during a stoppage in play. He was joined by Kevin Bieksa, seated below him, and a few other Canucks.

You’ve likely already seen the video, it’s one for the achieves, but take a minute and watch it again. It’s worth it for the fact that hard-nosed Vigneault is rarely seen in this light.

So what was so funny?

Well, Dallas Stars Vern Fiddler provided some comic relief as he skated by the Canucks bench with his impression of Bieksa’s sad face. His frown is drastically upside down and he does a little shimmy shake as he skates by.

Read Fort Nucks for rest of the story and the video.

To avoid a belly ache, eat popcorn before you eat M&M's and Mike and Ike's. They don't mix well.
Tweet of the Night - "This game will really get interesting when Steve Ott comes out for the 2nd wearing a Canucks sweater"
- @torrancecoombs
, fueling the trade fires. Tune in to trade deadline coverage all day Monday.
Stat attack - The Stars improved to 6-0-1 against Canadian teams this season with the win,
while the Canucks lose for the first time in a game with a start time earlier than 4 p.m.
A real stinker - “There's a stink on that goal but Raymond will take it" John Shorthouse’s call
after the puck squeezed through Kari Lehtonen's armpit for a goal in the second period.
Weirdest. Sign. Ever. - Schneider catch a goal in my pants. I’m not kidding. That’s what a young
Canucks fan had on a pink sign pre-game. I am so confused.