VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said he needed more from his leaders after a string of demoralizing losses.
Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn stepped up to the challenge
Seguin scored on the power play in the third period and the Stars beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Thursday night to snap a three-game slide.
“The guys did a great job responding,” Seguin said. “Our compete level was a lot higher, just our will. … We were missing it the last few games.”
Ales Hemsky, Esa Lindell and Radek Faksa had the other goals for Dallas, which got 26 saves from Kari Lehtonen. John Klingberg and Jason Spezza each added two assists.
Sven Baertschi and Ben Hutton scored for Vancouver. Ryan Miller stopped 32 shots in his 12th start in the last 13 games.
Both teams are well back in the Western Conference playoff race, and the Stars were outscored 17-4 during their recent skid, including a 7-1 demolition at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
“It’s no secret we were embarrassed by the last two games and the season in general,” Spezza said.
The Canucks, meanwhile, finished winless on their five-game homestand (0-3-2), with the last three losses coming in regulation.
Seguin snapped a 2-2 tie at 9:07 of the third, blasting a one-timer past Miller for his 24th of the season after the Stars zipped the puck around the Canucks’ zone.
Faksa then took advantage of a turnover by defenseman Troy Stecher at the side of his own net to bury his 11th past a helpless Miller at 15:31 as the Stars improved to 12-0-1 in their last 13 games against Vancouver.
Dallas grabbed a 1-0 lead at 8:41 of the first period after its 30th-ranked penalty kill held Vancouver’s 28th-ranked power play off the scoreboard during an early four-minute man advantage.
Hemsky, who has missed 59 games this season with hip and groin injuries, swooped past Hutton and beat an indecisive Miller to a loose puck before scoring his first goal since March 24, 2016.
“It’s frustrating,” Hutton said. “We want to win, especially here in our home rink in front of our fans. One mistake here, one mistake there and it’s two points for the other team and not us.”
Vancouver responded when Reid Boucher, playing in his 100th NHL game, fed a slick pass to a pinching Nikita Tryamkin. The big defenseman had both his initial shot and rebound stopped by Lehtonen before the puck popped into the slot to Baertschi, who buried his 17th at 13:27.