PIC OF THE GAME
(click for full view)
DALLAS (AP) -The streaking Canucks ran smack into the Turco train Friday night in Dallas.
Pyatt beat Turco early in the first, but a pair of second period markers from Loui Eriksson and Joel Lundqvist put the Canucks in a position they’re very familiar with of late – trailing heading into the third.
Another 13 shots and some frantic goal-mouth scrambles yielded nothing as the magic dust finally washed off and the Canucks rally sputtered.
Jason LaBarbera made 28 saves in his first start since January 13th and kept his team in it late with a breakaway stop off James Neal.
The loss stalls the Canucks’ climb up the Western Conference standings and freezes them at 60 points – right in the thick of a six-team log jam at the playoff line.
Turco, who was starting his 25th consecutive game to extend a club record, made 32 saves in the win. As nice as the stats sound, it was the quality of the saves that earned Turco first-star honour Friday.
He made a glove save on Henrik Sedin
's shot as time was about to expire in the second and his team clinging to a one-goal lead, then made a sprawling stop on Ryan Kesler
to end a power-play threat seconds into the third.
Turco, who stopped 14 shots in the third, got a little help when Alex Burrows' shot hit the left post with a minute left in the game.
"It feels comfortable for me," Turco said. "I've had the ability to track the puck and trust myself to be quick enough on ones where you have to move and find them."
Dallas won for the eighth time in 10 games and not only snapped Vancouver's four-game winning streak, but ended their run of dramatic come-from-behind victories that have propelled them through the first two games of the road trip.
"We just came up flat in the second period, took a few penalties and got away from our game plan," Pyatt said. "That cost us the game."
Made some big saves, earned an assist, and threw some key blocks behind his net.
His PP goal in the second got the Stars rolling. He has 26 on the year. Can he keep it up.
Seven shots. Yes, seven. At least three were legit chances. Just couldn't beat Turdy.
Loui Eriksson, who had a goal and an assist for the Stars, played the offensive catalyst for Dallas.
Trailing 1-0 after a Pyatt goal just 5:28 into the first period, Eriksson tipped a Matt Niskanen shot past Jason LaBarbera at the tail end of a lengthy Dallas power play early in the second, moments after the Canucks had killed a two-man advantage.
Eriksson’s then took a long pass from Turco and fed Lundqvist, who beat LaBarbera from the right circle late in the frame to vault Dallas into the lead. Turco was credited with his fourth assist of the season.
Battling a sore shoulder and a scoring funk has frustrated him most of the season, Lunqvist made his one shot count against the Canucks Friday.
The third-year center ended a lengthy offensive slump on the winning goal - Lundqvist's last goal in the regular season was March 15, 2008, against the Canucks. It was his first game-winning goal in the regular season..
"I'm a forward, so I should score goals," said Lundqvist, who has played in 25 games this season. "I haven't been able to find the net. So it's nice to finally get it. I didn't even remember the feeling. But I do now." Lundqvist, the twin brother of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, missed 21 games in November and December with an ailing shoulder.
"Joel had the injury earlier in the year and he's been snake-bitten around the net," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "It's nice to finally see him get one."
The Canucks power-play continues to be their Achilles heel. Though the Stars tallied just once on four chances, the goal got them into a game that the Canucks had owned up to that point.
Worse yet, a red-hot power play dried up against Dallas going 0-for-4, and 0-for-2 once they fell behind, though it wasn’t for a lack of chances.
Friday’s story from a Canucks perspective was a lack of finish. Daniel Sedin
put seven pucks on net - his best chance early in the third with Turco down and out – but couldn’t quite find the chink in the Dallas armour.
Kyle Wellwood, Hank Sedin, and Pavol Demitra all watched glorious chances fizzle off their tape as the timely scoring that’s sustained this recent four-game renaissance met its match in dusty Texas.
Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo
got the night off after starting nine straight games since returning from a groin injury that sidelined him for two months.
LaBarbera has started both games for the Canucks against the Stars. He stopped 34 shots in Vancouver's 3-2 loss to Dallas on Jan. 4.
"I felt my movement was more sharp than it's been in the past," LaBarbera said. "This was huge for me. I sharpened some things up."
Notes: The Stars improved to 14-3-1 over their last 18 home games. ... Dallas C Mike Modano, who had an assist, has 77 points in 67 career games against the Canucks. ... Vancouver D Kevin Bieksa
played in his 200th career game. ... Turco improved to 17-4-1 against Vancouver.