By Nicholas Wells, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER – A weak second period, marred by a soft goal on Eddie Lack, was all the Vancouver Canucks needed to extend their losing streak to five games.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 27 shots for his second shutout of the season and the 29th of his career as the Dallas Stars defeated Vancouver 2-0 on Wednesday night.
Lack, starting for the first time since Dec. 7 in place of No. 1 goalie Ryan Miller, said Dallas’ first goal â€” off a weak backhand shot from Colton Sceviour at 2:53 of the second â€” helped sway the momentum of the game.
“It’s a weak goal, what else can I say?” said Lack, who made 27 saves. “I was kind of in between â€” should I get it with my stick or with my glove? â€” and it just screwed me.”
Sceviour’s goal deflected off the back of Lack’s glove and in to give the Stars (12-13-5) the only offence they would need. Antoine Roussel added an empty-net goal with 26 seconds remaining in the third period.
“I was just trying to throw it out to the front to maybe get a rebound,” Sceviour said of his goal. “I was fortunate enough to get a bounce and it went in.”
After a slow first period, Dallas increased its pressure throughout the second, forcing 11 saves out of Lack, while Vancouver could only muster four shots â€” including a clear breakaway from Alexandre Burrows that Lehtonen denied.
Vancouver (18-11-2), which hasn’t scored a goal on the man advantage since a victory over the Capitals on Dec. 2, were blanked on the night as the Stars’ goalie made some key saves throughout the game.
“We got to at least get the momentum in our power-play,” said Henrik Sedin. “That didn’t happen in the second, I think that’s what turned the momentum around for them.”
The Canucks’ best chances came in the first and third periods as they peppered Lehtonen’s goal with shots.
A Chris Higgins breakaway in the first period was denied by the Stars’ netminder.
“I thought our third period was good, created stuff on the last power play but you know our second period wasn’t a good period for us and it probably cost us the game,” said head coach Willie Desjardins.
Jannik Hansen had a great chance for Vancouver seconds before the Stars’ opening goal, stripping Jyrki Jokipakka at the Dallas blue-line before Lehtonen stopped him with a glove save.
The Canucks came out stronger in the third period with both Chris Tanev and Linden Vey aiming one-timers at Lehtonen.
Lack had to make a couple of big saves to keep his team in it as the period wound down, including a breakaway shot from Curtis McKenzie, which Lack stopped with his pads.
Vancouver pulled its goalie with 1:35 left as the Canucks piled on the pressure, but Roussel scored into the empty net with 26 seconds to go.
Unlike Saturday’s game when the Canucks found themselves down 3-0 after just 6:46 of the first period, they came out stronger Wednesday. Radim Vrbata had the first chance, forcing Lehtonen to make a glove save just 36 seconds into the game before Hansen hit the side of the net a few moments later.
Lack was largely left alone for the first period as the Stars only managed five shots, but Tyler Seguin rang a shot off the crossbar before Jamie Benn had a good look from the slot that the Canucks goalie snagged with his glove.
“There’s still bumps in our road where we know if they get momentum it takes it away so we got to find ways to be better every shift,” said Desjardins.
Notes: The Canucks have two games left on a four-game homestand including Saturday against the Calgary Flames. … Dallas has two remaining games on its three-game road trip, playing Friday against the Flames. … Tom Sestito was a scratch for the Canucks. … The Canucks’ last home win against Dallas came on March 30, 2012.