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Pyatt provides late heroics as Canucks end three-game slide

Nov 7, 2006 - 5:49 AM VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- Roberto Luongo held the fort until Taylor Pyatt knocked down the door.

Luongo made a pair of great saves late in the third period and Pyatt scored the game-winner with 45 seconds remaining as the Vancouver Canucks posted an exciting 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars.

In the opener of a six-game homestand, Vancouver also received a bizarre goal from defenseman Kevin Bieksa in snapping a three-game losing streak. The win had to be an especially satisfying one for the Canucks as the Stars entered having won three straight games and 11 of their first 13 this season.

The Canucks appeared to be in trouble when a wide-open Mike Modano received a pass in front of Luongo with 4:20 left. But Luongo smothered Modano's attempt and, seconds later, robbed Jere Lehtinen with a glove save while lying on his side to punctuate his 19-save performance.

Just over two minutes later, Stars captain Brenden Morrow was whistled for elbowing and Pyatt made him pay with his seventh goal of the season. Defenseman Mattias Ohlund actually hit the goalpost from point-blank range before the puck caromed out to Pyatt, who spun in the left faceoff circle and fired a shot over fallen goaltender Mike Smith.

Prior to the goal, the Canucks had been 0-for-7 on the power play in the contest and just 10-for-91 on the season.

Smith recorded a shutout against Phoenix in his NHL debut on October 21 and allowed just two goals in a victory over Los Angeles one week later. But his third career start got off to a rocky start Monday when he surrendered an embarrassing goal 9:28 into the contest.

Carrying the puck on a rush, Bieksa wound up from the red line and fired a shot on net. Smith, perhaps expecting a dump into the corner, allowed the puck to slip between his stick and right pad to put the Stars in a 1-0 hole.

Dallas drew even 6:43 into the second period as Eric Lindros tallied on a delayed penalty. The towering center was camped in the left circle when he received a pass from Modano and drilled a one-timer past Luongo for his fourth of the campaign.

Smith finished with 24 saves for the Stars, who had won 14 of the last 21 meetings, including a 2-1 triumph on October 23.

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