They saved the best for last.
The Dallas Stars ended their three-game western Canada road trip with a full team effort in a 4-3 come-from-behind victory at the previously streaking Vancouver Canucks Friday night.
Kari Lehtonen left the game with a lower-body injury with 6:11 left in the first period, but the Stars rallied to a victory behind Richard Bachman, three fights in three seconds and goals from depth players.
Lehtonen stopped all seven shots he faced, but he seemed to possibly tweak his groin on a shot by Justin Shroeder. Bachman wasn’t stellar in net, but he stopped 18 of the 21 shots he faced, including a few saves on shots from the slot and a potential game-tying slap shot with 8 seconds left in the game.
With 3:20 left in the first period the Canucks seem to be the first on the board when Jannik Hansen made a centering feed to Mason Raymond who tapped the puck into the net as he crashed the net. It was immediately waved off due to goalie interference. The Stars won the ensuing faceoff and Derek Roy and Loui Eriksson battled to get the puck into the Vancouver zone. Eriksson tapped the puck forward to Reilly Smith who wristed his first NHL goal past Corey Schneider.
The Canucks took over the game early in the second period, scoring three goals in the first 10 minutes. Henrik Sedin’s second assist of the night gave the Canucks a 3-1 lead, and he became Vancouver’s all-time scoring leader. The Canucks had taken over the game and the fans gave Sedin a roaring standing ovation that lasted several minutes.
The Stars were in desperate need of a wakeup call, a momentum shift of some kind. They got it in the form of three fights spanning a total of three seconds with less than five minutes left in the second period. Ryan Garbutt fought Aaron Volpatti, Vernon Fiddler fought Maxim Lapierre and Eric Nystrom fought Dale Weise.
A couple of minutes after the fighting ended, Cody Eakin scored a goal when Trevor Daley took a shot from the point that Corey Schneider couldn’t hold on to. Eakin skated in and put the loose puck in the net.
Antoine Roussel tied the game 12:22 into the third period when he put home a puck through a mass of bodies just outside the crease. Finally with 3:01 left in the third, Jamie Benn fired a pass from the left boards through the slot and over to a streaking Brenden Dillon who wristed the puck over Schneider’s left shoulder.
The Stars missed a couple of opportunities for an empty net goal and the Canucks had a final chance with 10 seconds left to tie the game. Bachman made a save off a booming slap shot, and Stephane Robidas pinned the puck against the boards behind the net to kill the rest of the clock.
The Stars won two of three on the road trip and four of their past five games overall. They begin a three-game home stand against the Calgary Flames Sunday afternoon.