Dallas Stars’ Radek Faksa (12) is stopped by Vancouver Canucks goaltender Anders Nilsson (31) during first period NHL hockey action in Vancouver on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ben Nelms

Stars rally late to edge Canucks 2-1

Victoria’s Benn sets up Radulov for game-winner

VANCOUVER — The young Vancouver Canucks showed they have plenty to learn about closing out games on Saturday.

Alex Radulov scored the go-ahead goal with 3:23 left in regulation, lifting the Dallas Stars to a 2-1 win over Vancouver at Rogers Arena.

The slumping Canucks played a strong game and held a 1-0 lead up until midway through the third when Jamie Benn, who also assisted on Radulov’s winner, scored to tie it and put the Canucks on their heels. Suddenly, Vancouver was losing puck battles and turning the puck over.

Radulov’s winner came when Benn found the Russian winger skating in alone in the slot. Radulov made no error as he backhanded it in to quiet the crowd.

“This is a game that in my mind we lost down the stretch,” said Vancouver head coach Travis Green. “Their veteran guys took over. It happens fast and momentum changes. We played a real stingy game for 50 minutes and all of sudden their guys smelled blood. We cracked earlier than they did.”

“It’s a real tough way to lose. It’s a game we’ll learn more from than some of the other losses.”

There have been plenty of those lately, with Vancouver winning just once in the past 12 games. Bo Horvat scored for the Canucks (11-15-3), while Anders Nilsson was solid with 25 saves.

“It’s a matter of putting the full 60 together,” said Horvat. “The first and second we had our chances, with lots of shots on net. But no excuse — we need to be better.”

Ben Bishop made 24 saves in his first start for Dallas (14-10-3) since returning from a lower-body injury that kept him sidelined for five games. The Stars are fifth in the Central Division and currently own the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot.

“You’ve got to be able to close out games if you want to be a good team,” said Bishop. “It’s not always going to be pretty, but we found a way to do it tonight.

“You’ve just got to find ways. Finding different ways to win makes you a better team.”

Benn and Tyler Seguin were the busiest Stars offensively, swarming Nilsson all night. Nilsson was forced to make several strong saves against the duo, including a jaw-dropping glove grab against Seguin in the first.

RELATED: Canucks Report: Not a November to remember

Benn said his near-misses only made him more determined.

“It makes you hungrier,” said Benn. “We had a lot (of chances) in the first and second that weren’t going in. I like how we stuck with it and found a way.”

The Canucks got on the board with just over four minutes to play in the first. Winger Antoine Roussel, a former Star, broke away along the wing and lobbed a rolling puck to Horvat, who got enough stick on it to beat Bishop.

The Stars goalie was solid at the other end in the second when he stopped Brock Boeser all alone on a breakaway.

“I wanted to go five-hole, but he read me like a book,” said Boeser. “It’s tough obviously, that play goes through my head a lot after the game and I’ll be thinking about it.”

Benn tied it 1-1 at 10:19 of the third. After a Miro Heiskanen shot from the point bounced through traffic at the net, Benn swooped around the back of the net and banged in the loose puck.

Jason Keller, The Canadian Press

CanucksNHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Dallas Stars’ Jamie Benn (14) fights for the puck against Vancouver Canucks’ Christopher Tanev (8) during third period NHL hockey action in Vancouver on Saturday, December 1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ben Nelms

Just Posted

Girls, women try their hand at marine rescue in Surrey

Achieve Anything Foundation, RCMSAR Crescent Beach host ‘Operation: This IS You! Saving Lives at Sea’

White Rock cadets nab medals at Vernon competition

Thirteen members of 907 Squadron compete at regional meet

Surrey boy living with congenital heart disease to speak at local Tedx event

Mason Vander Ploeg will be speaking on saving the oceans

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Winds up to 70 km/hr expected across Metro Vancouver

Winds are expected to subside overnight

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

High-risk sex offender cuts off ankle bracelet, on the loose in Vancouver: police

Vancouver police said Kirstjon Olson, 38, is a provincial sex offender with 27 court-ordered conditions

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read