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Lehtinen's overtime goal lifts Stars to 2-1 win over Canucks

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Lehtinen's overtime goal lifts Stars to 2-1 win over Canucks

The Canadian Press
By:

Jere Lehtinen's power-play goal 4:17 into overtime lifted the Stars a 2-1 comeback victory over Vancouver on Sunday that snapped the Canucks' six-game winning streak. Philippe Boucher tied it with under 30 seconds left in regulation for Dallas.

Lehtinen notched his team-high 21st goal from the left circle with five seconds remaining on a tripping penalty against Lukas Krajicek. That completed the Stars' rally and improved their mark to 12-3-2 in the last 17 games.

"One thing we talked about before the game was to stay with the game," coach Dave Tippett said. "Give credit to our team. They hung around and stuck with it."

Defenceman Sergei Zubov set up Lehtinen on the winning goal as teammate Jussi Jokinen screened Luongo.

"That was a great pass," Lehtinen said. "I just thought, 'I'd better shoot it right now.' It was good, what happened in front, and I got a good shot."

Lehtinen has been on a recent spurt with 14 goals in 25 games.

"At the beginning of the season I couldn't score anywhere," said Lehtinen, who had seven goals in his first 31 games. "If you try hard enough, you get these."

Luongo was less than 30 seconds away from his 31st NHL shutout when the Stars tied it 1-1 on Boucher's power-play goal. The Stars went on a two-man advantage with 1:50 left, and had a 6-on-3 skating edge with 1:05 remaining when goalie Marty Turco was pulled for an extra attacker.

Dallas still had a one-man power play when Boucher scored with 28.3 seconds left, registering his career-best 17th goal of the season from the slot after a setup by Mike Ribeiro.

"We kept pushing and were fortunate to get the goals against Luongo," Ribeiro said. "It's great to get that one at the end, especially against a team and a goalie like that. We kept shooting the puck and doing what we could to stay in the game."

Taylor Pyatt had a second-period goal for the Canucks, who had won each of their previous six games by one goal and had been 19-3-3 since Christmas.

Turco made 17 saves as the Stars improved to 8-1-1 in their last 10 home games.

"Our goalie was just as good as theirs and that gives your players a lot of confidence," Tippett said.

With 77 points, Dallas pulled into a second-place tie with San Jose in the Pacific Division. The Canucks improved to 77 points and hold a two-point lead atop the Northwest over Minnesota.

"The extra point slipped away," Vancouver's Matt Cooke said. "That's not a trend we want to get into."

Luongo, who had won 10 of his previous 11 road starts, finished with 34 saves.

Stars rookie backup goalie Mike Smith had played in four of the previous seven games, including three starts, as Tippett gave Turco some rest. Smith had been 4-1 with a 1.15 goals-against average in his last five starts, but Tippett wanted to get his No. 1 goalie back in the nets. Turco rewarded that confidence with his 28th victory of the season.

"We did a great job defensively," Turco said. "I didn't see a lot of shots in the second and third periods and the guys made some outstanding plays late to give us the win."

Pyatt gave the Canucks the lead at 10:17 of the second period with his 17th goal after taking possession of a loose puck in the slot.

Luongo got lucky when a power-play slap shot by Dallas' Darryl Sydor clanged off the right post with just under 12 minutes remaining in regulation.

The Canucks were whistled for the game's final seven penalties, and their penalty killers finally caved with the game on the line.

"We were in control and then the penalties came," Luongo said. "The penalty kill got tired and I got tired."

Notes: Vancouver D Mattias Ohlund had the flu and couldn't play after the first period, leaving the Canucks short-handed on the blue line. ... Dallas C Eric Lindros missed his sixth consecutive game. Lindros is recovering from the flu and an undisclosed lower-body injury. ... Turco is 13-2-1 against Vancouver. ... Dallas has won six straight at home against the Canucks.

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Lehtinen's overtime goal lifts Stars to 2-1 win over Canucks