Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo and Dan Hamhuis battle for space in front of their net with Dallas Stars Antoine Roussel.
Photograph by: Ric Ernst, PNG
VANCOUVER — Stop us if this sounds familiar. The Vancouver Canucks outplayed another opponent Sunday night. And lost.
The goal-starved Canucks outshot the Dallas Stars by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, but again could not finish their opportunities as they dropped a 2-1 decision at Rogers Arena.
It is the fourth straight game the Canucks have only scored one goal. Not surprisingly, they have lost all four.
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The last time the Canucks lost four straight was when the San Jose Sharks swept them in the first round of last season’s playoffs. They remain ninth in the Western Conference but are now only one point ahead of the Stars, who have two games in hand.
The teams appear to be heading in opposite directions. Dallas has now won three straight games, six of its last seven and six straight on the road.
The Canucks, now 11-8-3 on the season, have only two wins in their last eight games. Their home record has fallen to a mediocre 4-4-1.
Erik Cole gave the Stars a 2-0 lead at 1:42 of the third period when he finished off a 2-on-1 rush with Cody Eakin. Vancouver defenceman Kevin Bieksa got caught up ice on the play.
The Canucks cut the lead in half at 3:06 of the third when Henrik Sedin scored on the power play. The Canuck captain converted a rebound off a Ryan Kesler shot from in close for his fourth goal of the season.
It should have been Henrik’s second power-play goal of the night. The Canucks thought they had tied the game at 6:42 of the second when Henrik put a rebound -- again, off a Kesler shot -- past Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen. But the goal was waved off by referee Rob Martell, who ruled Daniel Sedin had made contact with Lehtonen. It was, at best, a marginal call and coach John Tortorella was livid. He stood on the bench screaming at Martell.
With winger Jannik Hansen back after missing 10 games with a shoulder injury, Tortorella juggled his forward lines. Alex Burrows moved up to play with the Sedin twins, while Kesler centered the second line with Chris Higgins and Hansen. Mike Santorelli played between Zack Kassian and David Booth.
Vancouver’s fourth line of Brad Richardson, Jeremy Welsh and Tom Sestito was on the ice when the Stars’ top line struck for the game’s opening goal at 9:33 of the first period.
Tyler Seguin out-muscled Alex Edler on the end boards and fed a backhand pass to Valeri Nichushkin, who slipped it by short side on Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. Jamie Benn picked up the second assist on the goal.
Sestito and Welsh did not play for the rest of the night.
ICE CHIPS: Shots were 43-23 in favour of the Canucks … Kesler played his 600th NHL game Sunday night … The Canucks meet the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night (7 p.m., Sportsnet Pacific, Team 1040).
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