Elias Pettersson had two goals and an assist and the Vancouver Canucks extended their winning streak to six games with a 6-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Monday night.
Brock Boeser and Jason Dickinson each had a goal and two assists for the Canucks. Vasily Podkolzin and Conor Garland also scored. Oliver Ekman-Larsson had two assists.
Entering the game, Dickinson had eight points (four goals, four assists) in 55 appearances this season.
“It’s big. It means a lot to me,” Dickinson said.
“But a coach early on in my career told me not to fall in love with myself. So I’ll enjoy it for now and then tomorrow, back to business, forget what happened tonight. But also remember the confidence that I played with and that it is there, the ability is there.”
The 26-year-old looked like a different player on Monday, Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau said.
“You can have a bad year and then you can correct that bad year in a couple good weeks in playoffs,” Boudreau said. “He’s smart enough to say ‘OK I’ll put that behind me, what didn’t go right this year. Let’s just worry about what’s in front of me and if I can do good with what’s in front of me.’”
Roope Hintz had two goals for Dallas, including a short-handed score in the second period.
Thatcher Demko stopped 28 of 30 shots for Vancouver, which swept the three-game season series against Dallas.
Stars goalie Jake Oettinger stopped 15 of 19 shots before being pulled midway through the second period. Scott Wedgewood had 10 saves in relief.
The Canucks sit five points behind the Stars in the Western Conference standings, with Dallas holding the second wild-card spot. Vancouver is also a single point behind the Vegas Golden Knights, who are chasing the L.A. Kings for third place in the Pacific Division, a spot that also comes with a postseason berth.
“If you want to have anything in your own hands we have to win the rest of the games, but if we do, we’re in, no matter what,” Boudreau said of the playoff chase. “So it’s a good feeling knowing that your own destiny is in your own hands, no matter how hard the rest of the schedule is.”
With five games left in the regular season, players in the Vancouver locker room believe they have a shot, Garland said.
“We’re just focused. We understand what we need to do,” he said. “You can’t take your foot off the gas. We didn’t give ourselves an easy ride to the end of the season here so we understand it’s a tall task to what we have to do. So we’re just focused and want to keep going.”
The Stars pulled Wedgewood with nearly five minutes left in regulation for an extra attacker, but couldn’t get a puck past Demko.
Pettersson scored into the empty net with 3:01 to go. It was his career-high 29th goal of the season.
The third period was just 49 seconds old when Podkolzin made it 5-2 for Vancouver. The Russian rookie unleashed a sharp-angle shot from the bottom of the faceoff circle, finding space behind Wedgewood and sending a shot into the back of the net.
Vancouver’s lead jumped to 4-2 midway through the second when Dickinson scored against his former team.
A prolonged period of pressure in front of the Stars’ net ended when the center tipped in a long blast by Boeser at the 10:33 mark.
Dallas dealt Dickinson to Vancouver ahead of the Seattle Kraken expansion draft last summer. He went on to sign a three-year, $7.95 million deal with the Canucks.
Oettinger got the hook after Dickinson’s goal and Wedgewood took his place in net.
Oettinger let in a few bad goals, but the team has faith in him, Stars coach Rick Bowness said.
“It’s up to the rest of the guys to battle back and give them some run support and we didn’t do that,” he said. “A power-play goal, a short-handed goal and that’s all we got. Your goalie gives up a bad goal, try to bail him out.”
The Canucks got their first power play of the game after Tyler Seguin was called for holding early in the second period, but it was the Stars who found the back of the net.
Pettersson bobbled a puck along the boards and Hintz beat him to it, sprinting away for a breakaway and snapping a shot past Demko to make it 3-2 with his second of the game.
A goal early in the middle frame added to Vancouver’s cushion.
Dickinson used a pass to spring Pettersson and Boeser for a 2-on-1 break, and Pettersson appeared poised to shoot until the last moment when he sent a pass to Boeser.
The right-winger dropped to one knee as he ripped a one-timer past Oettinger for his 20th goal of the season. Boeser was playing his first game since April 3 after missing three in a row with an upper-body injury.
A heads-up play from forward Sheldon Dries put the Canucks up 2-1 midway through the opening frame. He dished a short pass to Pettersson from behind the net and the Swedish star wasted no time putting a backhanded shot between Oettinger and the post.
Hintz knotted the score at 1-1 with a power-play goal after Boeser was called for cross-checking Ryan Suter in the neutral zone.
The Canucks turned over the puck along the boards and Joe Pavelski sent it to Hintz as he streaked into the slot. Hintz picked his spot and fired a wrist shot into the top corner of the net at the 8:12 mark.
Just 44 seconds earlier, Garland opened the scoring with a slap shot from the far side of the faceoff circle. The left-winger has points in six straight games, with three goals and five assists across the stretch.
NOTES: Alex Chiasson was a late scratch for the Canucks with a non-COVID illness. The right winger took the warmup but was replaced in the lineup by Nic Petan. Chiasson was on a five-game point streak with five goals and four assists. … Stars defenseman Esa Lindell also missed the game with a non-COVID illness. … Vancouver was without captain Bo Horvat. He’ll be out at least two weeks after suffering a lower-body injury against the Coyotes on Thursday.
Dallas: At Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday in the second game of a three-game trip.
Vancouver: Host Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.