The Goods: Big W in Big D
Same Emotion. Same Effort. Same Fight. This game again had it all, even the right finish.
The Vancouver Canucks matched their outing from a night earlier in Chicago and they were rewarded with a tough 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars Thursday night at American Airlines Center.
Mason Raymond and Kevin Bieksa scored for the Canucks in the second of back-to-back games and the third of a four-game road trip, and Vancouver was once again the benefactor of stellar goaltending. Cory Schneider made 25 saves for his 17th win of the season in his third start in four games.
Were it not for a fluky goal from comedian Vern Fiddler nearly eight minutes into the third period, Schneider would have earned his third shutout of the year.
The goal came with Vancouver ahead 2-0 and it gave Dallas life, so despite the win, Schneider didn’t look too far past his blunder, a miscue that came from a poor play with the puck.
“It was frustrating, I had felt good playing the puck all night, I thought it was one of my better games of the year until that last one,” said Schneider, who is now 3-1-0 against the Stars in four starts, all in Dallas.
“It was a slow painful death watching that go in. It was tough to put my team in that position and we didn’t crack, they did a great job holding the lead.”
The Canucks didn’t break like they did 10 games ago in Dallas. On that night the Stars scored with 53 seconds left in regulation and then again in overtime to steal the win.
Henrik Sedin said his team has been playing the right style of hockey for a few games now and when they do that, letdowns will be few and far between.
“I think we’ve played great hockey the last two games,” said Henrik, who had two assists and was a plus-2 in 18:08 of ice time. “We’re back to being happy being in games, we know we’re going to take over the game in the third period if we stick to our system. That hasn’t been the case this year, but the last two games it’s been a big difference.”
This game was a physical affair with the Canucks and Stars combining for 66 hits at 33 a side, and there were 17 penalties assessed, including a pair of fighting majors to Dale Weise and Jake Dowell, and unsportsmanlike conducts to Andrew Alberts and Steve Ott.
With this being the third meeting between these teams in a little over three weeks, there is bad blood brewing.
“We’ve played them three times in the last month, just the way the schedule has been, so that hate is building for sure,” said Bieksa, who tied a career-high with his second game-winning goal of the season and is now three points from tying his personal-best for points.
“It’s a team that could still be a first round matchup, so we lost the first two, we were on the wrong end of those, but tonight we came back and built off of last night where I
thought we had a really good effort right through the game.”
The Canucks and Stars meet up again in eight days in Vancouver and we could be in for a preview of WrestleMania XXIX.
DOWELL vs. WEISE
Apparently Dale Weise saw Dallas’ pre-game video.
The video, set to the tune of Johnny Cash’s Ain’t No Grave (Can Hold My Body Down), features a lot of fights, including a scrap he had with Steve Ott last year as a member of the New York Rangers. The clip they use has Weise taking a fist to the face and apparently he wanted revenge.
Midway through the first period Weise and Jake Dowell went toe-to-toe in front of the penalty boxes. The atmosphere was electric as Let the Bodies Hit the Floor by Drowning Pool played with fans on their feet for the tilt.
The Stars tough guy landed the biggest blow, which Weise, who counted more punches, was still angry about post-game.
“We had no previous history, I probably should have done my homework,” he said. “I didn’t know he was going to come over the top with a left jack there, but I thought it was good. They got off to a good start, we equalized them and stood up to the challenge all night and we stuck together.”
This was Weise’s eighth fight of the season and first since January 12th; he’s dropped the gloves 13 times, including pre-season, in his NHL career.
RIBEIRO vs. SCHNEIDER
The saying on the back of Cory Schneider’s mask said it all.
None shall pass.
The Monty Python and the Holy Grail reference rings especially true for the goaltender in penalty shots as Schneider improved to 5-for-5 lifetime in one-on-one battles against the Stars.
Mike Ribeiro took a pass a step back of the Canucks blueline and jetted in on a breakaway with just over seven minutes left in the second period, but he didn’t get a shot off because of a slash from Kevin Bieksa.
The referee blew his whistle and pointed to centre ice.
The Stars forward paced himself as he went down mainstreet before faking backhand and going forehand shooting the puck right into Schneider.
It was Schneider’s third penalty shot stop of the season and easily the easiest. He stood his ground, was patient and was rewarded.
“I’ve seen him come in on the backhand like that and I wasn’t really sure what he was going to do with it, but he got in pretty tight, I don’t know if he was going to past my blocker or through my arm, but I just stayed with him and made the save,” said Schneider.
-@andibuz1, with a valid point. I ate the press box candy to make sure it was safe for the kids...
You could do a dance like Jack, or use your head, well technically nose, like this kid.
skid at the hands of the true north strong and free. Overall the Stars are now 9-2-1 against teams from Canada.
to the American Airlines Center in Dallas. My reward: Stars cheerleader practice.