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NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at Dallas

(Saturday, March 15th)

Final Score: Vancouver 4, Dallas 3

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Brendan Morrison's third-period tally lifted the Vancouver Canucks, who squandered a three-goal lead, past the Dallas Stars, 4-3, at American Airlines Center.

Matt Pettinger and Markus Naslund each posted a goal and two assists for the Canucks, who snapped a two-game skid. Morrison added two helpers, while Roberto Luongo stopped 34-of-37 shots to earn his 32nd victory of the season.

The Canucks have 82 points and hold a two-point lead over Nashville, which edged Detroit earlier Saturday, for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Joel Lundqvist, Mike Modano and Brad Richards all tallied for the Stars, who have dropped two straight and five of their last six outings overall.

Johan Holmqvist was roughed up for three goals on 12 shots in the first period. Marty Turco took over between the pipes at the start of the second period and finished with 17 saves.

"Johan's been here a while and we are trying to get him integrated into our team," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. "We only play twice in the next 11 days and didn't want him to sit that long. I feel bad for him, we didn't give him much of a chance. You can't make the kind of mistakes we're making and expect to win. Giveaways, odd-man rushes, getting beat to the net. We can't expect to be a good team with the kind of mistakes we made tonight. The schedule is hurting our rhythm because we can't get going. We have some work to do, that's for sure. You can't allow four (goals) and expect to win hockey games."

Combined with the loss and Anaheim's 5-2 win over St. Louis on Saturday, Dallas has fallen to the fifth spot in the Western Conference, one point behind the Ducks.

Vancouver broke a 3-3 tie when Naslund threw the puck at the net and it deflected off Morrison in front with 3:04 gone in the final frame.

With 4:44 remaining, Naslund was awarded a penalty shot after he was hooked and pulled down from behind by Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. Turco made a save with the right pad to keep his club in the game.

The Stars pulled Turco in the final minute, but failed to net the equalizer.

The Canucks raced out to a 3-0 lead in the opening stanza.

Pettinger put the Canucks on the board at the 2:32 mark and Ryan Kesler added a power-play goal at 9:07. Off a steal in the neutral zone by Pettinger, Naslund netted his 23th goal of the season when he slid the puck underneath the left pad of Holmqvist with 8:47 remaining.

Lundqvist banged home a rebound to cut the deficit to 3-1 with 14 seconds remaining in the first period. It was his first tally since October 10th.

"I thought we came out really well and the goal at the end of the first gave them (Stars) momentum, but in the third we found a way to get it done," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said.

While on a power play, Modano snapped a wrister from the top of the left circle behind Luongo to make it 3-2 at 7:35 of the second. Then, with Modano in the penalty box for hooking, Richards broke in alone on Luongo, deked and slipped the puck between the goaltender's pads with 6:02 to go in the middle stanza.

Game Notes

The clubs split the four-game season series...Vancouver finished 1-for-2 on the power play and Dallas went 1-for-5.

03/16 00:38:05 ET

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