The Vancouver Canucks quickly ended a long list of various slumps against the Dallas Stars.
Alex Burrows set the tone with his first goal in seven games on the first shot just 1:18 in. Ryan Kesler and Christian Ehrhoff ended a short power play funk by scoring on two of the next four shots. And Mikael Samuelsson (14 games), Mason Raymond (11 games) and Dan Hamhuis (25 games) all ended long goal droughts as the Canucks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 7-1 rout of the Stars on Monday night.
”We scored early with the first shot on net and you keep building on that,” said Raymond. ”We had everybody flying and we got an all-round effort.”
Henrik Sedin led with a goal and two assists for the Canucks, who did have three points during their slide (0-1-3) and have only lost in regulation twice since Dec. 5. Vancouver is the first team in the Western Conference to 30 wins and with 69 points is five ahead of Detroit and six up on Dallas atop the west.
”You feel good when everybody is contributing and that was the biggest thing is everybody contributed tonight,” said Kesler, who also had an assist. ”Whether it was a blocked shot or a goal or an assist or taking a hit to make a play, everybody was doing the right things out there tonight.”
That includes goaltender Roberto Luongo, who made 25 saves and hasn’t lost in regulation in 16 games (11-0-5) over the last seven weeks.
Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen came in on a streak of his own. He hadn’t lost in regulation in seven games since being pulled after giving up four goals on 14 shots against Vancouver on Dec. 31. But he was pulled for the final 6:48 of this game in favor of ex-Canucks backup Andrew Raycroft after giving up seven on 33.
”He has been, if not our MVP, largely responsible for our resurgence,” Stars coach Marc Crawford said of Lehtonen. ”He didn’t have a great night tonight but we didn’t give him any help. Tonight was a total team collapse. As a head coach, we obviously didn’t have them ready to play tonight, that’s my fault. It’s humbling, and by some small measure, maybe, it puts us back in our place.”
Brad Richards scored for the Stars, who were coming off a 7-4 loss in Calgary Friday night that snapped a franchise record eight-game road win streak.
”We’re all going to bounce back,” Richards said. ”If not, we’re going to have to find a different job. We’ll take it in the chin tonight but we’ll be back.”
Burrows opened the scoring on the first shot, a long, unscreened slap shot off the rush that knuckled past Lehtonen’s waving glove. Richards tied it six minutes later after a bad giveaway by Henrik Sedin left him alone in front, and
Vancouver hadn’t even registered a second shot to that point. But the first of two straight Stars penalties ended that a minute later, with Kesler tipping in a shot at 9:05 and Ehrhoff scoring through Kesler s screen 82 seconds later.
The goals snapped a 0-for-10 drought for a Canucks’ power play that came in ranked third in the NHL overall, but just 17th in the league on home ice.
”Bad play by me there but our power play got us back in the game, said Henrik Sedin, who assisted on both goals. ”We’ve been too easy to read lately, but we had the right movement and guys going to the net.”
Samuelsson ended a nearly month-long drought with a perfect shot over Lehtonen’s blocker from the left faceoff dot 3:57 into the second period.
Raymond got credit for his first goal in 12 games when a point shot was tipped past Lehtonen with 8:55 left, and defenseman Hamhuis snapped in a power play rebound just over two minutes later, ending both a goal drought dating back to Dec. 1, and Lehtonen s night in goal.
”It s always nice to see different guys score, Samuelsson said.
Notes: Top-line Dallas LW Loui Eriksson returned after missing Friday’s game with the flu. … LW Jamie Benn left early in the second period after a big hit by Edler and did not return. … Dallas C Mike Ribeiro’s point streak was snapped at 11 games, ending the longest active run in the NHL. … The Canucks honored ex-forward Thomas Gradin with a Ring of Honor spot in a pre-game ceremony. In addition to 550 points in 613 games between 1978 and 1986, Gradin still scouts for the team in his native Sweden.