Canucks
Stars
4 - 3 Final
  for this game

Morrison's goal saves Canucks

Mar 16, 2008 - 5:11 AM
DALLAS (Ticker) -- Brendan Morrison helped save the Vancouver Canucks from embarrassment.

Morrison snapped a tie just over three minutes into the third period as the Canucks squandered a three-goal lead but managed to escape with a 4-3 triumph over the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

Morrison, Matt Pettinger and captain Markus Naslund each had a goal and two assists and Ryan Kesler also scored for Vancouver (36-26-10), which remained two points ahead of Nashville (36-29-8) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Joel Lundqvist, Mike Modano and Brad Richards tallied for the Stars (42-27-5), who stayed three points behind the idle San Jose Sharks (42-21-8) for first place in the Pacific Division.

"We have to get going in the right direction," Richards said. "There are some things we need to clean up. We have to keep concentrating how little things can change the way a game goes. We have to grab momentum and keep it."

Having scored a total of just one goal in their previous two games, both losses, the Canucks erupted for three goals in the first 11:13 of this one to take a seemingly comfortable lead. But Dallas refused to roll over, rallying for three tallies of its own to knot the game.

"I thought we came out really well, and the goal at the end of the first gave them momentum, but in the third, we found a way to get it done," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.

Playing in just his fourth contest since undergoing wrist surgery that sidelined him for 38 games, Morrison put Vancouver ahead to stay early in the third.

From along the right wing boards, Naslund put a backhander toward the front of the net. While battling defenseman Stephane Robidas for position, Morrison had the puck glance off his body and get past goaltender Marty Turco at 3:04 for his ninth goal of the season and a 4-3 edge.

"It was a roller coaster, but it was a great game for us," Kesler said. "We got kind of a grinding goal to win it, but it was an all-around great game."

Roberto Luongo made it stand as he made a brilliant stop on Modano with just over five minutes remaining. Luongo finished with 35 saves.

Turco - who stopped 17 shots - did his best to keep the deficit at one, making a right pad save on Naslund during a penalty-shot attempt with 4:44 remaining and stopping several other chances by Vancouver. However, the Stars were unable to get the equalizer past Luongo and fell to 11-4-2 in their last 16 meetings with the Canucks.

"We have been at a high level all season and haven't had too many dips until this," Modano said. "It's not going to get any easier."

Vigneault's decision to insert Pettinger on a line with Naslund and Morrison paid off, as the trio combined for three goals and six assists.

"We wanted to try something to see if it couldn't kick-start our offense," Vigneault said. "Matt gives the line good speed. Mo and Nasly are really finding themselves."

Things did not start well for Dallas, which entered with a seven-game home winning streak against Vancouver.

Pettinger began a three-goal outburst for the Canucks at 2:32, carrying down the right wing following a turnover in the neutral zone and firing a wrist shot from the faceoff dot that sneaked under goaltender Johan Holmqvist's right pad.

Kesler doubled the lead at 9:07 with his career-high 20th goal of the season. With the puck loose in the crease, Kesler poked it past Holmqvist near the left goalpost to make it 2-0.

Just 2:06 later, Naslund pushed the advantage to three. After rookie defenseman Mark Fistric failed to play the puck at the blue line, Pettinger picked it up and raced in on a 2-on-1 with Naslund, who deposited a cross-slot pass past Holmqvist for his 23rd tally.

"You can't make the kind of mistakes we're making and expect to win," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. "Giveaways, odd-man rushes, getting beat to the net. We can't expect to be a good team with the kind of mistakes we made tonight."

Losers of four of their previous five games, the Stars began to mount a comeback late in the first as Lundqvist ended a 44-game goalless drought. With 14 seconds remaining, the Swede buried a rebound in front after Luongo stopped Loui Eriksson's slap shot from above the left faceoff circle.

Turco replaced Holmqvist, who yielded three goals on 12 shots, to start the second period and held the fort as Dallas' special teams helped forge a 3-3 tie.

While on the power play, Modano unleashed a wrister from above the left circle that found its way under Luongo's glove at 7:35, drawing the Stars within one. As Modano served a hooking penalty more than six minutes later, Richards streaked in on a breakaway and slid the puck between Luongo's pads for a shorthanded goal with 6:02 remaining.

"It was a big goal at the end of the first by Lundy, and we were hungry in the second, but we expended so much energy playing catch-up," Richards said. "The second period shows what we are capable of, but we can't keep having starts like that."

Richards' goal was the Stars' 11th shorthander of the season.

Despite Holmqvist's poor showing, his coach and teammates refused to throw any blame his way.

"Johan's been here a while and we are trying to get him integrated into our team," Tippett said. "We only play twice in the next 11 days and didn't want him to sit that long. I feel bad for him. We didn't give him much of a chance."

"We didn't give Johan much help at all," Stars center Stu Barnes added. "If you have slow starts like that, you are behind the eight ball already, and that's going to catch up to you."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 3 0 1 4
    DALLAS 1 2 0 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - MATT PETTINGER 4 (MARKUS NASLUND, BRENDAN MORRISON)
    2:32
    VAN - (PP) RYAN KESLER 20 (BRENDAN MORRISON, ALEXANDER
    EDLER) 9:07
    VAN - MARKUS NASLUND 23 (MATT PETTINGER) 11:13
    DAL - JOEL LUNDQVIST 3 (LOUI ERIKSSON)

    Mar 15 9:42 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 4
    DALLAS 3
    3RD PRD: VAN - BRENDAN MORRISON 9 (MARKUS NASLUND, MATT PETTINGER)
    3:04

    Canucks 4, Stars 3  3rd - 16:56Mar 15 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 3 0 3
    DALLAS 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - MATT PETTINGER 4 (MARKUS NASLUND, BRENDAN MORRISON)
    2:32
    VAN - (PP) RYAN KESLER 20 (BRENDAN MORRISON, ALEXANDER
    EDLER) 9:07
    VAN - MARKUS NASLUND 23 (MATT PETTINGER) 11:13
    DAL - JOEL LUNDQVIST 3 (L

    Mar 15 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 3
    DALLAS 3
    2ND PRD: DAL - (SH) BRAD RICHARDS 20 (JERE LEHTINEN) 13:58

    Canucks 3, Stars 3  2nd - 6:02Mar 15 8:30 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 3
    DALLAS 2
    2ND PRD: DAL - (PP) MIKE MODANO 19 (STEPHANE ROBIDAS, MIKE RIBEIRO)
    7:35

    Canucks 3, Stars 2  2nd - 12:25Mar 15 8:17 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 3 3
    DALLAS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: VAN - MATT PETTINGER 4 (MARKUS NASLUND, BRENDAN MORRISON)
    2:32
    VAN - (PP) RYAN KESLER 20 (BRENDAN MORRISON, ALEXANDER
    EDLER) 9:07
    VAN - MARKUS NASLUND 23 (MATT PETTINGER) 11:13
    DAL - JOEL LUNDQVIST 3 (L

    Mar 15 7:50 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 3
    DALLAS 1
    1ST PRD: DAL - JOEL LUNDQVIST 3 (LOUI ERIKSSON) 19:46

    Canucks 3, Stars 1  1st - 0:14Mar 15 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 3
    DALLAS 0
    1ST PRD: VAN - MARKUS NASLUND 23 (MATT PETTINGER) 11:13

    Canucks 3, Stars 0  1st - 8:47Mar 15 7:32 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 2
    DALLAS 0
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) RYAN KESLER 20 (BRENDAN MORRISON, ALEXANDER EDLER)
    9:07

    Canucks 2, Stars 0  1st - 10:53Mar 15 7:27 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 1
    DALLAS 0
    1ST PRD: VAN - MATT PETTINGER 4 (MARKUS NASLUND, BRENDAN MORRISON)
    2:32

    Canucks 1, Stars 0  1st - 17:28Mar 15 7:19 PM
  • 5
    roots
    mack788 Added 5 roots

    Canucks vs. StarsMar 11 2:58 AM