Boucher, Dowd score on power play; Canucks beat Stars 4-1
DALLAS (AP) — Reid Boucher and Nic Dowd are near the bottom of Vancouver’s scoring leaderboard, with the Canucks sitting near the bottom of the standings.
They combined to help Vancouver pull Dallas down toward the bottom Sunday night.
Boucher and Dowd each scored on the power play in a 4-1 win over the reeling Dallas Stars, who are stuck in an 0-6-2 skid.
It was the third goal of the season for each of Vancouver’s surprise contributors. Dowd wasn’t even supposed to be on the ice on the power play.
“We were short a guy, and he jumped on the ice,” Canucks coach Travis Green said. “I think I was yelling at him for going out there, and then yelling at him for scoring.”
Jake Virtanen scored in the third period, and Tyler Motte added an empty-net goal with 41 seconds left.
“It was nice to get contributions throughout our lineup,” Green said. “Really four young guys getting on the scoresheet was nice.”
Dallas’ Mattias Janmark scored a short-handed goal in the first period. Thirty seconds later on the same Vancouver power play, Boucher scored. All three of Boucher’s goals have come in the Canucks’ two games at Dallas.
Vancouver shut down the Stars’ line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov, who had scored at least one goal in each of Dallas’ previous eight games.
“They’re as good as it gets in the league,” Green said. “We put the (Brandon) Sutter line against them as much as we could. (Goalie Jacob Markstrom) was great, made some big saves on those guys.”
Markstrom had 30 saves, including one on a 2-on-1 rush in the first period.
″(Michael) Del Zotto did a real good job of kind of forcing them to make a difficult pass,” Markstrom said. “It was a slow pass to give me time to get over.”
The Canucks, tied for 28th in the NHL ahead of only Arizona and Buffalo, won for the second time in 10 games.
“You see the guys crack a smile now,” Dowd said. “Regardless of where you are in the standings, you want to win every single night.”
Dowd scored his goal with one second left on a four-minute power play in the second period.
The Stars have all but fallen out of playoff contention. With six games remaining, they are five points behind St. Louis for the second wild card from the Western Conference. The eight-game losing streak is the longest since the Stars moved to Dallas in 1993.
“We don’t deserve to win right now,” Stars defenseman John Klingberg said. “We don’t have any confidence at all the way we’re playing right now.”
Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock agreed.
“I think when your scoring chances are all in the first half of the game and not in the second half, that’s kind of telling,” he said. “I think losing does that, you do lose confidence.”
Jussi Jokinen assisted on the Canucks’ first two goals.
NOTES: Vancouver outscored the Stars 10-1 in the two games in Dallas. ... Lehtonen stopped 23 shots. ... Janmark’s short-handed goal was his second this season, Dallas’ second in two games and the Stars’ sixth this season. Vancouver has allowed six short-handed goals. ... Jokinen began his career with Dallas in 2005 and has played for nine NHL teams, including four this season. He had his first two-point game since Dec. 15 for the Kings against the Rangers. ... Canucks D Ashton Sautner made his NHL debut as an emergency call-up for Chris Tanev, who was injured in Friday’s game at St. Louis. Sautner was playing for Utica in the AHL, where he had spent all of his three pro seasons. “I thought he was really good,” Green said. “He didn’t panic.” ... The Minnesota/Dallas franchise has had four eight-game losing streaks. The North Stars lost nine in a row from Jan. 17 to Feb. 4, 1970.
Canucks: Begin their final homestand (five games) against Anaheim on Tuesday night.
Stars: Finish a three-game homestand Tuesday night vs. Philadelphia.
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