Game 65: Star Swept
In their second game since dealing away franchise netminder Roberto Luongo to the Panthers, the Canucks proceeded to drop an embarrassing 6-1 decision to the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center to conclude a winless two-game road trip.
Tyler Seguin notched his third hat trick of the season and added two assist in the victory as the Stars completed a season sweep of the Canucks for the first time since 1986.87 and stretched their lead in the tough Western Conference standings to four points over the Canucks.
Alex Goligoski and Ryan Garbutt also scored for the Stars, while Zac Dalpe had the lone marker for the Canucks, who have now dropped 11 of their last 12 outings.
As easy as it would be to look at the final score and put the blame on the netminding, the goaltenders were hardly the problem for the Canucks on this night. Instead, it was another night that saw the Canucks hang their netminder out to dry without having the necessary offence to bail him out.
Dallas struck less than three minutes into the game after Benn poked in a rebound following a brilliant save by Eddie Lack on a Seguin breakaway. The cynics would suggest the Canucks, who can't seem to buy a goal these days, already had the game lost by that point.
The game was certainly over for all intents and purposes by the 12-minute mark of the first period after a pair of Seguin markers made it 3-0. The Stars would increase their lead to 5-0 in the middle frame before Dalpe got Vancouver on the board late in the second period with a power play marker.
Seguin would round out the scoring and complete his hat trick at 12:53 of the third period beating Jacob Markstrom, who had come into the game by that point in relief of Lack.
Lack surrendered a season-high five goals on 17 shots through two periods before getting the early night off. Markstrom, making his Canucks' debut, stopped four of five shots in relief.
Kari Lehtonen made 32 saves on 33 shots in the victory.
The Canucks return home to begin a two-game home stand on Saturday when they host the Calgary Flames.
NOTES AND NUMBERS: With his three-point performance (1-2-3), Jamie Benn extended his point streak against the Canucks to seven games. He has four goals and 10 points during that stretch... Zack Kassian had just 2:43 of ice-time before earning a game ejection for his hit-from-behind on Dallas' Brenden Dillon... Yannick Weber returned to the Canucks lineup. He sat out the four games prior to the Olympic break with an upper-body injury and was a healthy scratch for the first four games coming out of the break. He took the lineup spot of Ryan Stanton who was a surprise late scratch despite taking the pre-game warm-up.
FIRST THREE IN BIG D: Tyler Seguin's hat trick was the first three-goal performance by a Dallas Star against the Canucks in franchise history. The last time a member of the Stars franchise scored three goals against the Canucks was on November 23, 1990 when Brian Bellows managed the feat in a 6-4 victory by the Minnesota North Stars.
STROMBONE STRIKES: One of the more entertaining parts in what was otherwise a dreadful night was following the game according to the Twitter account of a certain former Canuck goaltender, @strombone1. The zingers began in the second period with a "#PrayforEddie" tweet and ended with a suggestion that "Thing 4" be put in for the third period – a course of action that ended up coming to fruition with Markstrom replacing Lack to begin the final frame.