VANCOUVER – The Dallas Stars have found themselves again.
Tyler Seguin scored a goal and added an assist as Dallas defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 Thursday night for their sixth win in seven NHL games.
The Stars have rebounded from an ugly 1-7-1 start to go 9-1-1 in their last 11 games. The win against the Canucks was their sixth victory in seven games.
“Stingy defence has been our bread and butter since probably halfway through the year last year,” said Seguin, who scored for just the second time in 16 games.
“This year early on we were maybe thinking about it too much and (now) we’ve got back into more of the natural system from last year, which is defence first but finding greasy ways to win games. That’s what you saw tonight.”
Justin Dowling, Alexander Radulov and Blake Comeau also scored for Dallas (10-8-2). Joe Pavelski and Miro Heiskanen had two assists each for the Stars, who beat the Flames 3-1 Wednesday night in Calgary.
Jake Virtanen and Troy Stecher scored for the Canucks (10-7-3). Vancouver has one win in its last six games (1-4-1).
Dallas goaltender Anton Khudobin made 32 saves. Jacob Markstrom stopped 25 shots for Vancouver.
Seguin said the slow start helped the Stars bond.
“You like adversity sometimes,” he said. “We’re rallying around each other, we’re having complete team efforts. Just keep it rolling now.”
Seguin scored on a three-way passing play with Pavelski and Heiskanen late in the second period.
Comeau scored for the first time in six games this year when he skated around Stecher then, falling to the ice, put a backhand under Markstrom’s glove.
Dowling opened the scoring in the first period when he skated between two Canuck defencemen and took a feather pass from Seguin. He made a toe drag and lifted the puck over Markstrom for his second goal in as many nights.
Coach Jim Montgomery said the goals showed the Stars’ skill level.
“We have a lot of skill in our lineup and a lot of players that can make plays,” he said. “But if you don’t have the will, your skill doesn’t show.
“We’re doing skill and will right now and I think that makes us a dangerous team.”
Canuck coach Travis Green was frustrated with this team’s eight giveaways.
“I thought we turned the puck over a few times that cost us,” he said. “They won a few more puck battles than we did.
“They are a heavy team. They know how do defend hard. You can’t turn the puck over against them, or they will go the other way in a hurry.”
The Canucks scored bushels of goals in October but have struggled in November. It was the sixth time in eight games Vancouver scored two or less goals.
“We couldn’t get a goal when we needed one,” Green said. “We missed some good chances.
“I don’t think we had a lot of guys who were great tonight. I don’t think we had a lot of guys who were terrible either. It was that kind of night.”
Canuck captain Bo Horvat described the Stars as a heavy team that plays with grit.
“If we are going to play a team like that, we have to be wiling to play direct, stick to our game and wear them down, down low,” he said. “I don’t think we did that enough tonight.”
NOTES: Vancouver played without centres Jay Beagle (lower-body injury) and Brandon Sutter (groin strain). … Tyler Graovac, a callup from the AHL Utica Comets, was inserted into the lineup. … Dallas forward Andrew Cogliano, who left Wednesday’s game with an injury, took the warmup but didn’t play. He was replaced by Rhett Gardner. … Dallas defenceman Roman Polak played his first game since fracturing his sternum in the season’s opening game. … Canuck defenceman Jordie Benn faced his brother and former Stars teammate Jamie Benn. … Actor Bill Murray was in the crowd for a second consecutive game.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 14, 2019.
© 2019 The Canadian Press