April 23rd, 2024

Dallas Stars clinch playoff spot with 3-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

By Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press on March 28, 2024.

Dallas Stars' Roope Hintz (24), Jamie Benn (14) and Joe Pavelski (16) celebrate Hintz's goal as Vancouver Canucks' Ian Cole (82) watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Thursday, March 28, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – Roope Hintz scored and contributed a pair of assists, and the Dallas Stars clinched a playoff spot with a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

Jamie Benn added a goal and a helper for the Stars (46-19-9) before Jason Robertson put a puck into the empty net. Joe Pavelski had two assists.

Jake Oettinger stopped 27 of 28 shots as Dallas stretched its win streak to six games.

The Canucks (45-20-8) got a goal from J.T. Miller and 30 saves from Casey DeSmith.

Dallas sits first overall in the Western Conference, three points up on Vancouver.

The Canucks remain atop the Pacific Division standings, six points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers, but must wait to secure its post-season berth.

Vancouver pulled DeSmith late in favour of an extra attacker, only to see Hintz win a neutral zone puck battle that led to Robertson tucking a shot into the empty net for his 27th goal of the campaign with two minutes and three seconds left on the game clock.

The Stars had a prime opportunity to take the lead late in the third period after Teddy Blueger was called for a high stick.

Benn collected a pass from Pavelski and snapped it in from the slot to put Dallas up 2-1 at the 16:52 mark.

The Stars captain now has points in eight straight games (seven goals, five assists), and goals in six.

The Stars went 2-for-5 on the power play while Vancouver was 0-for-3 with the man advantage.

The Canucks knotted the score at 1-1 midway through the second thanks to a stellar play from Conor Garland.

Miro Heiskanen checked the winger into the boards, but Garland still managed to send a spinning backhanded pass to Miller at the top of the hash marks. Miller sent a one-timer flying past Oettinger 7:39 into the period. It was his 35th goal of the season.

Dallas opened the scoring with a power-play goal late in the first after Quinn Hughes was called for a high stick.

Jason Robertson sliced a pass across to Hintz at the side of the crease and while DeSmith stopped the centre’s first attempt, he couldn’t clear the puck from the blue paint. Hintz poked it in to put the Stars up 1-0 at the 18:48 mark.

Vancouver challenged the goal, arguing there was a high stick before the goal, but video review determined the tally – Hintz’s 27th of the season – would stand.

Benn got an assist on the play, marking his 900th career point.

DAK IS BACK

Dakota Joshua returned to Vancouver’s lineup after missing 18 games with a hand injury. The physical forward has a career-high 13 goals and 13 assists this season.

SIDELINED

Canucks centre Elias Lindholm missed a second straight game with an undisclosed injury. Forward Arshdeep Bains was back on the ice with the NHL club after being recalled from the American Hockey League’s Abbotsford Canucks on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Canucks: Close out a nine-game homestand Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Stars: Visit the Kraken in Seattle on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2024.

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