Game 37: Reversal of Fortune
Jamie Benn and Colton Sceviour scored 15 seconds apart less than five minutes into Thursday's contest to help propel the Stars to an eventual 4-1 win over the Canucks.
The loss was Vancouver's first regulation defeat in the month of December and dropped their overall season record to 20-11-6.
Any thought the Canucks would come out with a strong start looking to bounce back from their first loss in eight outings on Tuesday in Minnesota were quickly squashed when Benn opened the scoring for the Stars just 4:34 in the contest after taking a feed from Tyler Seguin and beating Roberto Luongo high glove side from the left faceoff circle.
The Canucks would be down 2-0 before they even knew what hit them as Sceviour would find the finish on a 2-on-1 with Rich Peverley on the very next shift to double the Stars lead.
After Chris Higgins brought the Canucks back to within one in the first period, Vancouver would actually dominate the play in the second period out-shooting Dallas 14-5 but weren't able to beat Stars netminder Kari Lehtonen, who finished the evening stopping 27 of 28 shots in the victory.
Vancouver's inability to generate offence would come back to haunt them as Erik Cole would restore the Stars' two-goal lead with just over three minutes left in the middle stanza.
Valeri Nichushkin would round out the scoring for the Stars early in the third period and chase Luongo, who finished with just 15 saves on 19 shots, from the game. Eddie Lack stopped all seven shots he faced in relief.
The Canucks will look to avoid going winless in all three games of their road swing tomorrow night when they close out their trip in Chicago.
NEW AGE CANUCK KILLERS: They're no Modano and Hull, but Jamie Benn and Erik Cole have certainly turned into real big thorns in the Canucks' paw. Benn extended his point streak against the Canucks to six games (3-4-7) tonight while Cole extended his point streak versus Vancouver to five games (6-3-9).
MILESTONE WAIT: Both Roberto Luongo and Kari Lehtonen entered Thursday's contest with an opportunity to reach a team milestone. Lehtonen managed to succeed in his bid as he recorded his 100th win with the Stars. Luongo will have to wait at least until tomorrow in Chicago before he can try for the third time to reach the 250-wins mark with the Canucks' franchise.
NOTES AND NUMBERS: Mike Santorelli managed to extend his point streak to four games in the loss with his assist on Higgins' goal. He has four assists in his last four games... The Canucks' run of opening the scoring in eight straight games came to an end tonight. The Canucks are 8-8-3 this season when giving up the opening goal, as opposed to be 12-3-3 when opening the scoring... Dallas improved to 8-2-2 this season against Canadian teams and 7-2-1 against teams from the Pacific Division... Canucks assistant coach Glen Gulutzan returned to Dallas for the first time since being let go as the Stars head coach in the off-season.