DALLAS (AP) — Brock Boeser scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and the Vancouver Canucks held the Dallas Stars scoreless on four power plays, including one late in the third period, for a 3-1 win Saturday night.
Jack Rathbone and Dakota Joshua also scored for Vancouver, which swept the three-game season series against Dallas and has won the past six meetings dating to last season. The last time the Stars beat the Canucks was Nov. 19, 2019, in Dallas.
“They’re going to the playoffs, they have a great team,” Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said of the Stars. “It’s a good confidence builder for the guys when you can beat teams like that. I think it goes a long way with the culture.”
Thatcher Demko made 25 saves, including six on Stars power plays, to help the Canucks open a three-game road trip with a victory.
Ryan Suter scored the lone goal for Dallas, which closed out a 1-1-1 homestand.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” Demko said of his 6-0 record in starts against the Stars. “I just try to do the same thing every game, so it’s just kind of the way it’s worked out. It’s funny that way. … I thought our (defence) eliminating second chances and boxing those guys out.”
With the game tied at 1, the Canucks took control with two goals in the second period. Boeser’s goal four minutes into the period made it 2-1. Rathbone increased the lead just 1:33 later on a straightaway shot past third-stringer Matt Murray.
It was Rathbone’s second NHL goal and first since May 6, 2021.
Murray was giving the Stars’ Jake Oettinger a night off. Usual backup Scott Wedgewood has been injured the past month. Murray is 1-2 in his first three career starts over the past month. He saved 21 of 24 shots, including 5 of 5 on power plays against the Canucks.
Stars coach Peter DeBoer defended his young goalie’s performance.
“I thought Murray was fine,” he said. “You put a young guy in like that you’d like to give him some run support. That’s on us, that’s not on him. He did what he’s supposed to do.”
It could have been worse for the Stars, who survived a power play that included a stretch of 5-on-3 toward the end of the second. The Canucks outshot the Stars 11-4 in the period.
The Stars took a 1-0 lead on Suter’s goal from the blue line despite the Canucks controlling the action for much of the first 10 minutes, including a 5-0 advantage on shots.
Vancouver tied it with a short-handed goal by Joshua with 1:30 left in the opening period. It was the 14th short-handed goal for the Canucks, the most in the NHL. Vancouver has scored 10 short-handed goals in their past 17 games.
“Obviously, disappointing, for sure,” DeBoer said. “I didn’t think a lot of guys had much tonight. We still found a way to score the first goal and then we handed the momentum with the short-handed goal.
"We know they’re dangerous short-handed — we talked about it — and still gave one up. We didn’t execute all night. They were the hungrier team, and that’s inexcusable this time of year for us.”
The Stars' Miro Heiskanen set a franchise record with 20 points — four goals, 16 assists — in his previous 12 games, but was held without a point Saturday. The last team to hold him to zero points was also the Canucks on Feb. 27.
Canucks: at Chicago to face the Blackhawks on Sunday.
Stars: at Chicago to take on the Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
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The Associated Press