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Canucks end winless streak with 7-1 rout of suddenly road-weary Stars

VANCOUVER — Ryan Kesler and Christian Ehrhoff scored quick power-play goals Monday as the Vancouver Canucks ended a four-game losing streak by hammering the Dallas Stars 7-1.

VANCOUVER — Ryan Kesler and Christian Ehrhoff scored quick power-play goals Monday as the Vancouver Canucks ended a four-game losing streak by hammering the Dallas Stars 7-1.

The goals came one minute 21 seconds apart early in the first period against unfortunate netminder Kari Lehtonen and gave the Canucks a 3-1 lead in the game between the NHL division leaders.

Henrik Sedin, who also had a pair of assists to run his league-leading total to 50, joined Alex Burrows, Mikael Samuelsson, Mason Raymond and Dan Hamhuis among Vancouver's other scorers.

Samuelsson and Raymond ended lengthy goal droughts and Vancouver scored three on the power play as the Stars gave up seven goals for the second straight game.

Brad Richards replied for the Stars, who had lost only seven of 33 games since Nov. 16.

Vancouver improved to 30-10-9 to tie idle Philadelphia for the over-all NHL lead as they handed the Stars their fourth straight loss in Vancouver.

The Northwest Division leaders also moved five points ahead of Detroit and six ahead of Pacific Division-leading Dallas in the Western Conference.

The Stars dropped to 29-15-5 by losing their second straight game. Calgary ended their club-record string of eight road victories on Friday.

Lehtonen, lifted from the Stars' 4-1 loss to the Canucks on Dec. 31 after yielding all of the goals on 14 shots, had a less-than-memorable night again.

The Canucks scored on their first shot for the second straight game as Burrows stepped over the blue-line and blew the puck past his glove.

He had faced only seven shots by the time Kesler and Ehrhoff gave the Canucks a 3-1 lead.

Kesler planted himself in front to tip Alex Edler's point blast for his career-high 27th goal and fourth in eight games.

Ehrhoff made it a two-goal advantage with a low point shot on a 4-on-3 power play.

The man-advantage goals came after Henrik Sedin's defensive zone turnover along the side boards allowed Richards to tie the game.

The Dallas centre had time to make Canuck goalie Roberto Luongo sprawl and beat him with a backhand.

Samuelsson broke a 14-game goal drought early in the second period. His quick shot over Lehtonen's blocker from the left face-off circle gave Vancouver a 4-1 edge.

It didn't get any better for Lehtonen when teammate Steve Ott desperately slid into his crease and Henrik Sedin's rebound went in off his skate.

In the third period, Raymond got his first goal in 12 games when he circled the net to tip Edler's point shot.

Hamhuis's power-play goal chased Lehtonen at 13:12 of the third period. He was replaced by former Canuck Andrew Raycroft.

At the other end, Luongo was solid as the Stars were limited to 26 shots, many from the side. One of his best saves came in the third period when he outguessed Loui Eriksson and made a right pad save.

Notes: The teams have a Dallas rematch Feb. 1, their first game after the all-star break ... Canuck defenceman Kevin Bieksa was back after missing most of Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss to Calgary because of a swollen eye suffered in a fight with Tom Kostopoulos ... Vancouver had called up rearguard Lee Sweatt from AHL Manitoba as insurance and returned forward Sergei Shirokov to the Moose ... Eriksson dressed for Dallas after flu sidelined him for Friday's 7-4 loss to Calgary. He had played in 263 consecutive games ... Thomas Gradin, who had 197 goals and 550 points in eight seasons as a Canuck, was added to the club's ring of honour at Rogers Arena.

 
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