The Dallas Stars won’t be following up a 5-game winning streak with a similar losing streak.
The Stars returned to their winning ways and used a four-goal third period to propel them to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Vancouver Canucks.
Dallas was outhit, outshot and lost more faceoffs than Vancouver, but the Stars received scoring from three of their lines and a 37-save effort from Kari Lehtonen to earn the critical two points.
Lehtonen looked sharp in his first game back from a groin injury, and seemed to feel more comfortable in net as the game wore on.
Former Star Derek Roy opened the scoring 6:38 into the second period when he beat Alex Goligoski to a puck and outmuscled him on his way to the net. Roy made a move to his right and lifted a backhand shot past Lehtonen.
Vernon Fiddler tied the game seconds after Dallas’ second power play opportunity ended. Trevor Daley attempted a pass to Cody Eakin in the slot, but he was tied up and unable to control the puck. Eric Nystrom managed to make a quick backhand pass to Fiddler who was standing alone to the right of the Vancouver net. He slid it past Cory Schneider for the goal 12:09 into the second period.
Eakin kicked off the Stars’ explosive third period. Reilly Smith nudged ahead a backhand pass near the Vancouver blue line. Eakin kicked it forward off his skates and gained control of the puck as he skated between the Vancouver defenders. He headed to the net and took a wrist shot that flew past Schneider’s glove for a 2-1 lead less than two minutes into the third period.
Keith Ballard over-skated the puck at his blue line and Jamie Benn pounced on the opportunity. He skated the puck to the slot and scored his 11th goal of the season.
Ray Whitney scored on a rebound off a Benn deflection to give the Stars a 4-1 lead 7:03 into the third period. Stephane Robidas skated wide right into the Vancouver zone and sent a pass to Erik Cole in the slot for the final goal of the game.
The Stars have a quick turnaround as they head out to pay the St. Louis Blues a visit Friday night.