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Game Preview and Gamethread: Vancouver Canucks vs. Dallas Stars

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The Canucks snapped their losing streak by handing the Habs their first loss of the year. Can they build on their momentum in Texas?

Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks (4-2-3) vs. Dallas Stars (7-2-0)

Time 7:00 PM PT TV Sportsnet Vancouver
H2H (2014/15) 3-0-0 Stars Last Meeting 4-3 Stars (OT) - March 28, 2015
The Enemy Defending Big D Scoring Leaders

VAN: Brandon Sutter (3-4-7)

MTL: Jamie Benn (8-7-15)

Canucks Category Stars
4-2-3 Season Record 7-2-0
11 Points 14
T-2nd Division Position 1st
Won 1 Streak Won 1
24 Goals For 31
18 Goals Against 24
17.2 Power Play % 30.0
88.0 Penalty Kill % 88.5
30.9 Shots Per Game 32.4
28.6 Shots Against Per Game 30.1


Last Game at a Glance

The Canucks finally notched their first win of the year at Rogers Arena, handing the Montreal Canadiens their first loss of the season. If the Habs had won, they would've tied the NHL record for the longest winning streak to start the season. But you know who was the last goalie to lead his team to a 10-0-0 start? Yep, Ryan Miller. Back in 2006, Miller helped the Sabres to a 10-0-0 start, and he wasn't about to see another team tie that streak.

Miller was brilliant in net, stopping 26 shots during the night, including some astonishing saves like this one below.

The Canucks got to Carey Price early, scoring three goals in the first period, including two from Jared McCann. Something tells me that might've earned him a spot on this team for the year with that 10th regular season game looming.

Canucks Lineup Notes

The Canucks have been dealing with some injuries lately as Dan Hamhuis and Brandon Prust will not be making the trip to Dallas. Hamhuis has a lower body injury and Prust suffered a nasty-looking ankle injury on Tuesday night. After the game, he had a boot on that left foot. Prust said he rolled the ankle, and while it's sore, he didn't hear anything pop.

On Wednesday, the Canucks announced they had recalled defenseman Alex Biega and forward Brendan Gaunce from Utica. Biega has one assist in five games with the Comets this year while Gaunce has a goal and an assist in six games. Should Gaunce dress tonight, it would be his NHL debut.

According to the Canucks game preview, there is a possibility that Richard Bachman could also make his Canucks debut tonight in net.

Virtanen Records First Point

Another bright moment during the win over Montreal was Jake Virtanen recording his first point of the year, an assist on Derek Dorsett's third period goal.

Virtanen was also a big physical presence, recording seven hits in the first two periods. You could tell he was trying to make a big impact, fighting for a chance to stay with the team.

Finally Holding the Lead

One of the most important takeaways from Tuesday's win over the Canadiens was the fact that the Canucks didn't surrender another third period lead. After playing aggressively in the opening period and jumping out to a 3-0 lead, you could tell some of the intestity was gone in the second period. Then, after the Habs scored early in the third period, the Canucks responded by once again playing more aggressively, adding two more insurance goals. They were finally playing to win instead of playing not to lose.


Last Game at a Glance

The Stars are coming off a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night in which they erased a three-goal deficit. Dallas outshot the Ducks 17-2 in the third period.

After the Ducks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening period, Patrick Sharp scored his first goal as a Star with Dallas on the power play at 7:40 in the second period. Cody Eakin then delivered a shorthanded goal before John Klingburg tied things up with a tap-in goal late in the second period. Antoine Roussel capped off the comeback for Dallas, scoring the game-winning goal with 1:28 remaining in regulation.

Stars Lineup Notes

When the Stars fell behind early against Anaheim, head coach Lindy Ruff changed his lines up, and those look to be the lines we'll see tonight. Cody Eakin will move back up to the top line to skate with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Defenseman Jason Demers will also return to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension for a hit on Pittsburgh's Nick Bonino.

Stars Looking to Extend Win Streak Over Canucks

Sometimes, you play a team that just always seems to have your number. For the Canucks, the Stars are that team. Last season, the Stars swept the three-game season series and have won the last seven games in a row between these teams. If you're looking for Vancouver's last win over the Stars, you need to go to February 21, 2013 when the Canucks beat the Stars 4-3 in Dallas.

Everything's Bigger in Texas...Including the Scoring

The Stars have won seven of their first nine games in the year, thanks in large part to their early offensive success. Heading into tonight's game, the Stars are averaging 3.44 goals per game, tied for fourth in the league. A large part of that is due to Jamie Benn, who leads the NHL in goals (8) and points (15). If the Canucks hope to snap their losing streak against the Stars, they'll need to shut down Benn.