In their first game back after a tough six-game road trip, the Canucks looked like a team hoping to wipe away some bad memories.
Markus Granlund scored in overtime and Vancouver rallied to defeat the Dallas Stars 5-4 on Sunday afternoon.
The victory was only Vancouver’s second in its last 12 games. The team just returned from a 1-5 road trip that included back-to-back shut-out defeats and the loss of top-line forward Jannik Hansen to injury (rib fracture).
“It was a tough one (road trip) for us, but it’s good to be back home and this was a good win for us,” said Granlund. “Everybody in this room is sticking together and playing for each other.”
There were several other bright spots Sunday, such as a goal from struggling winger Loui Eriksson (his second of the year), the first NHL goal from defenceman Troy Stecher, and a power-play goal from Brandon Sutter, marking only the team’s second extra-man goal in 11 games.
“It was a good feeling,” said Stecher of getting his first goal in the League. “But getting that win on home ice is a lot better feeling. I’m sure you guys can see it throughout the room - the vibes are up and we feel pretty good.”
Bo Horvat also scored for the Canucks (6-9-1) while Ryan Miller made 17 saves.
Patrick Eaves scored twice, while Lauri Korpikoski and Antoine Roussel also scored the Stars (6-6-4), who wrapped up a five-game road trip 2-1-2.
Goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped 25 shots for Dallas, which had dominated the Canucks over the years, winning 10 straight meetings.
On several occasions it looked like the Stars would be taking its 11th, but the Canucks kept coming. Vancouver rallied from down 3-1 early in the third and 4-3 later in the period.
“Dallas had our number lately,” said Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins. “I don’t know if it was a must win, but it certainly was a big win for us, and we needed to score some goals. It was good we battled in the third. I thought we showed great resiliency to stay with it.”
The game opened with three goals in under a minute, starting with Eaves’s first at 5:43. Horvat tied it 20 seconds later with blazing wrist shot off the shoulder of Lehtonen, but Korpikoski restored Dallas’ lead after a successful 2-on-1 with Radek Faksa.
The Stars made it 3-1 in the second as Tyler Seguin dished a nice cross-ice pace to Eaves, who one-timed his second of the game.
The Canucks cut the lead at 3:26 in the third when a Stars turnover allowed Granlund to get the puck to Eriksson in the slot.
Sutter tied it on the power play at 6:06 into the third, but a defensive gaffe gave Dallas a 4-3 lead and Roussel a gift goal with a easy tap in.
But again the Canucks tied it up, with Burrows getting the credit for shovelling a loose puck in the crease. But Dallas successfully challenged on goalie interference and it remained 4-3 for the Stars.
With under two minutes to play, and Miller pulled, Stecher slapped the puck through Lehtonen’s legs, sending the arena in a frenzy.
“We were right there,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We made a little mistake on (Stecher’s goal), just on coverage going out to the point. If we played that better, that puck definitely doesn’t go in.”
Notes: Vancouver recalled forward Jake Virtanen from the (AHL) Utica Comets on Sunday. ... Defenceman Dan Hamhuis, who played in Vancouver for six seasons, played his first game against his former team. Hamhuis, a fan favourite, received a video.Report Typo/Error