Elias Pettersson scored twice and had an assist and the Vancouver Canucks stretched their win streak to six games with a 6-2 victory over the visiting Dallas Stars on Monday.
Brock Boeser and Jason Dickinson each had a goal and two assists for the Canucks (38-28-10). Vasily Podkolzin and Conor Garland had the other Vancouver goals and Oliver Ekman-Larsson had two assists.
The Stars (43-28-5) replied with two goals from Roope Hintz, including a short-handed tally in the second period.
Thatcher Demko stopped 28 of 30 shots for Vancouver, which swept the three-game season series between the teams.
Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger stopped 15 of 19 shots before being pulled midway through the second period. Scott Wedgewood had 10 saves in relief.
The Canucks sit five points behind the Stars in the Western Conference standings, with Dallas holding the second wild-card spot.
Vancouver is also a single point behind the Vegas Golden Knights, who are chasing the L.A. Kings for third place in the Pacific Division, a position that also comes with a post-season berth.
The Stars pulled Wedgewood with nearly five minutes left in regulation for an extra attacker but couldn’t get a puck past Demko.
Pettersson scored into the empty net with 3:01 to go. It was his career-high 29th goal of the season.
Thanks for Elizabeth Irving and seven year old Michaella for performing beautiful renditions of the Canadian and American anthems on Gender Equality Night! pic.twitter.com/n4OqpP9oyi
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) April 19, 2022
The third period was just 49 seconds old when Podkolzin made it 5-2 for Vancouver.
The Russian rookie unleashed a sharp-angle shot from the bottom of the faceoff circle, finding space behind Wedgewood and sending a laser into the back of the net.
A fight broke out late in the second period after Dallas’ Jamie Benn ran Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes into the end boards.
Canucks defenceman Luke Schenn took exception to the play and dropped the gloves with Benn. Both players got blows in before Schenn tossed Benn to the ice.
Vancouver’s lead jumped to 4-2 midway through the second when Dickinson scored against his former team.
A prolonged period of pressure in front of the Stars’ net ended when the centre tipped in a long blast by Boeser at the 10:33 mark.
Dallas dealt Dickinson to Vancouver ahead of the Seattle Kraken expansion draft last summer. He went on to sign a three-year, US$7.95-million deal with the Canucks.
Oettinger got the hook after Dickinson’s goal and Wedgewood took his place in net.
The Canucks got their first power play of the game after Tyler Seguin was called for holding early in the second period, but it was the Stars who found the back of the net.
Pettersson bobbled a puck along the boards and Hintz beat him to it, sprinting away for a breakaway and snapping a shot past Demko to make it 3-2 with his second of the game.
A goal early in the middle frame added to Vancouver’s cushion.
Dickinson used a feather pass to spring Pettersson and Boeser for a two-on-one break, and Pettersson appeared poised to shoot until the last moment when he sent a pass to Boeser.
The right-winger dropped to one knee as he ripped a one-timer past Oettinger for his 20th goal of the season. Boeser was playing his first game since April 3 after missing three in a row with an upper-body injury.
A heads-up play from forward Sheldon Dries put the Canucks up 2-1 midway through the opening frame.
He dished a short pass to Pettersson from behind the net and the Swedish star wasted no time putting a backhanded shot between Oettinger and the post.
Hintz knotted the score at 1-1 with a power-play goal after Boeser was called for cross-checking Ryan Suter in the neutral zone.
The Canucks turned over the puck along the boards and Joe Pavelski sent it to Hintz as he streaked into the slot. Hintz picked his spot and fired a wrist shot into the top corner of the net at the 8:12 mark.
Just 44 seconds earlier, Garland opened the scoring with a slapshot from the far side of the faceoff circle. The left-winger has points in six straight games, with three goals and five assists across the stretch.
Monday marked the first half of a back-to-back for the Canucks, who’ll close out a five-game homestand on Tuesday when they host the Ottawa Senators. The Stars take on the Oilers in Edmonton on Wednesday.
Notes: Alex Chiasson was a late scratch for the Canucks with a non-COVID illness. The right-winger took the warm-up but was replaced in the lineup by Nic Petan. Chiasson was on a five-game point streak with five goals and four assists. … Stars defenceman Esa Lindell also missed the game with a non-COVID illness. … Vancouver was without captain Bo Horvat. He’ll be out at least two weeks after suffering a lower-body injury against the Coyotes on Thursday.
THE CANADIAN PRESS