Samuelsson, Ehrhoff lift Canucks over Stars 4-1


DALLAS – Mikael Samuelsson and Christian Ehrhoff scored power-play goals to lead the Vancouver Canucks over the Dallas Stars 4-1 Tuesday night.
Vancouver also got a short-handed goal from Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows also found the back of the net. Daniel Sedin added two assists.
In the first game back from the All-Star break for both clubs, the Canucks recorded their third straight victory and moved into sole possession of first place overall in the NHL.
It was the third time in the last 33 days that the Canucks dominated the Stars, winning all three games by a combined score of 15-3. During those three, the Vancouver power play has done most of the damage, converting 8 of 15 attempts.
Dallas has capitalized on 1 of 13 power plays in the season series, including an 0-for-5 effort Tuesday night.
After a scoreless first period, the Canucks struck twice on power plays in the first 3:05 of the second to take control.
Just 26 seconds in, Samuelsson wired a scorching wrist shot from the right face-off circle over the glove hand of Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen, just under the crossbar for his 10th goal of the season.
Vancouver needed just eight seconds on the power play for its second goal, a blazing slap shot by Ehrhoff from the right point that beat Lehtonen over the glove.
Seconds after Lehtonen made a save on Dan Hamhuis, Dallas' Loui Eriksson connected for Dallas at 6:22 of the second, firing a wrist shot from the slot past Canucks goalie Cory Schneider on a 2-on-1 rush.
For Eriksson, who scored two goals and two assists in Sunday's All-Star Game, it was his 18th of the season, as the Stars dropped to 1-3-0 in their last four outings and snapped a five game points streak (4-0-1) on home ice.
With the Stars on a power play late in the period, Kesler made it 3-1 Vancouver with his 28th goal of the season. After a 2-on-1 break into the Dallas zone, Kesler received a cross-ice pass from Jannik Hansen and re-directed it past Lehtonen.
As Dallas pressed for another goal late in the third period, the Canucks ended any hopes of a comeback when Burrows scored his 12th of the year with 5:03 remaining.
Notes: Canucks D Alex Edler missed his second game since suffering a back injury that requires surgery and will keep him out until at least the playoffs. ... Wearing a full face shield to protect a broken bone around his eye, Vancouver C Cody Hodgson made his NHL debut. Hodgson, the Canucks' first-round choice (10th overall) in 2008, registered two shots on goal and three hits in 9:36 of ice time. ... Lehtonen earned an assist on Eriksson's goal, giving him four on the season, tying the NY Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist for the most among goalies in the league.