Canuck notes: Vancouver plays power keepaway with Dallas

 

 
 
 
 
Dallas Stars' Brenden Dillon (4) is slammed into the boards by Vancouver Canucks right wing Zack Kassian (9) in an NHL  game, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, in Dallas.
 

Dallas Stars' Brenden Dillon (4) is slammed into the boards by Vancouver Canucks right wing Zack Kassian (9) in an NHL game, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, in Dallas.

Photograph by: Tony Gutierrez, AP

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DALLAS -- It will go into the books as a failed power-play opportunity, but in reality it was a thing of beauty.

Awarded a power play with 2:01 left in the third period and nursing a 4-3 lead over the Dallas Stars, the Canucks weren't going to take any chances.

So once they got possession of the puck, they kept it. They literally passed the puck around the Dallas zone for the full two minutes, never attempting a shot.

It was textbook.

The Stars couldn't touch the puck and their penalty-killers grew exhausted from chasing it around the zone as the Sedins, Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler played a game of keep-away.

"We won the faceoff and when I saw Henrik hanging onto it I knew exactly what he was trying to do," Burrows said. "We just wanted to hang onto the puck and make sure they were getting tired on the PK.

"Once you pass that first minute those PKers, they have been starting and stopping and they get tired, and we were able to spend all two minutes in there."

"We were pretty spread out so it's easy to keep it along the boards," added Daniel Sedin. "There was no reason for us to take any chances there. It was nice."

FIVE'S A CROWD: The Canuck goal-scoring lead is now shared by five players who each have five goals.

Burrows and Kevin Bieksa scored Thursday night to join Daniel Sedin, Zack Kassian and Mason Raymond with five goals.

Bieksa's goal was his fourth in his last six games. The Canuck defenceman has always been a streaky scorer.

"Yeah, well that's the way it goes, I guess," he said of his current streak. "You ride the wave while it's hot and pretty soon it turns into an iceberg. So we'll ride it for a while."

Bieksa's five goals has him alone in second place among NHL defencemen. He trails Ottawa's Erik Karlsson, who has six but is gone for the season after suffering a skate cut to his Achilles tendon.

Biekaa is within three goals of matching his total output of eight last season. He scored a career-high 12 back in 2006-07.

WHAT THE H?: His real name is Cristopher Nihlstorp. But the 29-year-old Swede, who started in goal Thursday night for the Dallas Stars, has become Cristopher Nilstrop in the NHL. So what happened to the H?

Well, the H was apparently dropped on some documentation he used to get into the U.S. and NHL rules stipulate the name on his contract has to match those documents. So in the NHL, he's known as Nilstorp.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: It's almost the one-year anniversary of Vernon Fiddler's 'Bieksa face' but the Dallas forward doesn't plan to reprise the impersonation.

"No, that was just a spur-of-the-moment kind of of thing," Fiddler said after Thursday's game-day skate.

It was Feb. 26 of last year, in Dallas, when Fiddler cracked up Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault with his on-ice impression of a grumpy-faced Bieksa.

Fiddler played junior with the Kelowna Rockets and was not drafted. And after playing as a 20-year-old with Medicine Hat, the Edmonton native almost gave up on a pro hockey life.

"I was going to go to the University of Alberta, go back home and work for my dad," said Fiddler, who makes his off-season home in Kelowna. "Then one thing just started happening after another. I got a couple of good opportunities and here I am 500-and-something (NHL) games later."

ICE CHIP: With Rick Ball on Hockey Night in Canada duty this weekend in Calgary, Joey Kenward will call the radio play-by--play on Team 1040 for games Friday night in Nashville and Sunday in Detroit.

bziemer@vancouversun.com; twitter.com/bradziemer

 
 
 
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Dallas Stars' Brenden Dillon (4) is slammed into the boards by Vancouver Canucks right wing Zack Kassian (9) in an NHL  game, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, in Dallas.
 

Dallas Stars' Brenden Dillon (4) is slammed into the boards by Vancouver Canucks right wing Zack Kassian (9) in an NHL game, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, in Dallas.

Photograph by: Tony Gutierrez, AP

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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