VANCOUVER, B.C. – Christian Ehrhoff scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and Alex Burrows extended his goal-scoring streak to five games as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Dallas Stars 4-3 on Thursday night.
Burrows, who has points in 10 consecutive contests, launched the play that produced Ehrhoff’s key goal for the Canucks (30-18-2), who posted their third-straight win and moved into a tie for the Northwest Division lead with Colorado.
Mason Raymond and Kyle Wellwood also scored for Vancouver, while Loui Eriksson, Toby Petersen and Trevor Daley tallied for the Stars (21-18-11), as they suffered their 10th consecutive road loss.
Dallas backup goaltender Alex Auld, who spent the first four seasons of his pro career in the Canucks organization, suited up against his former team for the first time, stopping 19 of 23 shots.
The Stars were missing three of their top-six forwards – Mike Ribeiro, Brenden Morrow and Jere Lehtinen – to injury.
Raymond opened the scoring 14:16 into the game as he took a pass from Ryan Kesler, went around Dallas defenceman Niklas Grossman and beat Auld with a backhand to the opposite top corner. The tally ended a 10-game goal drought for Raymond.
Eriksson’s third goal in three games created a 1-1 tie just over two minutes later as he fired home a Karlis Skrastins pass from behind the net. The puck appeared to hit Burrows’ stick and change direction as he tried to block the shot.
Petersen gave the Stars a 2-1 lead with a short-handed marker midway through the second period. He beat Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo with a high shot over the shoulder.
With just under seven minutes left in the second, Dallas coach Marc Crawford called a timeout to rally his troops after the Canucks controlled the puck in the Stars’ zone for about a minute and 40 seconds.
Burrows had a goal disallowed with 1:55 left in the second after a video review showed he kicked the puck into the net. Burrows, who was fined US$2,500 by the NHL last week for accusing referee Stephane Auger of deliberately calling penalties against him, did not protest.
Burrows, however, made good on another chance just 55 seconds later as Auld came out of his net and misplayed a dump-in. Auld unwisely tried to stickhandle away from the rapidly-advancing Burrows, who poked the puck through his legs and then planted it high into the vacant net.
Erhoff culminated a highlight-reel, four-way passing play to give the Canucks a 3-2 lead 5:05 into the third period. Skating into the Dallas zone, Burrows backhanded a pass along the blue-line to Henrik Sedin, who passed across the ice to his brother Daniel, who then fed Ehrhoff as he sped through the middle and beat Auld.
Wellwood added an insurance marker at 16:31 of the third, putting the Canucks ahead 4-2.
Daley closed out the scoring with only three seconds left.
Luongo made 20 saves on 23 shots.
Notes: Vancouver centre Ryan Johnson returned to action after missing 12 games with a foot fracture. …canucks defenceman Willie Mitchell missed his second straight game with an undisclosed upper-body injury suffered Saturday against Pittsburgh. …Wellwood is on a two-game penalty streak. He now his eight penalty minutes this season after receiving only four minutes in 2008-09 and none in the previous two campaigns. …Stars captain Brenden Morrow also missed his second consecutive contest because of a lower-body injury, but he is expected to be healthy in time to play for Canada at the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. …Morrow is one of four Stars slated to play for a quartet of countries in the Games. The others are Eriksson (Sweden), Skrastins (Latvia) and Lehtinen (Finland), whom the Stars have placed on injured reserve due to a lower-body injury.