Jacob Markstrom and the Vancouver Canucks were good enough on Sunday.
Two days after saying, “I’m not good enough,” Markstrom made 30 saves for his second career shutout and the Canucks beat the Dallas Stars 6-0.
“That was one of the best game I’ve seen him play.” – Jake Virtanen comments on Goaltender Jacob Markstrom’s shutout in Dallas. pic.twitter.com/pk2WJLcjEX
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 12, 2018
Markstrom also had said some teammates weren’t playing well enough to be in the NHL after Vancouver’s fourth straight loss.
“We talked, the whole team, (Saturday),” Markstrom said, “We weren’t happy with the result and how we were playing hockey. It’s frustrating when we know how good we can play. This was a perfect example.”
Reid Boucher scored his first two goals of the season to help Vancouver equal its highest goal total.
Boucher opened the scoring 2:11 into the game. Dallas defenceman Dan Hamhuis tried to carry the puck out from behind the goal, but Boucher hit the puck into the right corner of the net.
“I got a good jump, won the battle, and just tried to stuff it in there,” Boucher said. “I saw it go in. Nobody really moved or did anything. I told (a referee), and then he went over and took a look at it.”
After the video review, the goal counted.
“It was definitely nice to get a lead,” Vancouver coach Travis Green said. “And the type of goal. We talked about going to the net tonight and finding a greasy goal.”
The Canucks’ Jake Virtanen and Thomas Vanek also scored in the first 13:27. Virtanen’s goal came on a breakaway after picking off Mattias Janmark’s pass in the Vancouver zone.
“The concern for me is the odd-man rushes,” Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We’re giving up more, which is a recipe for disaster. We tried to put the brakes on it and weren’t able to, so now we’ve paid the price and this should get everybody’s attention.”
In the second period, Bo Horvat scored on the power play, and Boucher connected on a tip-in. Erik Gudbranson had a third-period goal.
Dallas won its previous five games, with the loss preventing the Stars from passing St. Louis for third place in the Central Division.
The Canucks had not beaten Dallas in regulation time since Feb. 21, 2013. The Stars were 13-0-1 in the previous 14 games against Vancouver.
Dallas’ Kari Lehtonen had 19 saves after replacing Ben Bishop following Horvat’s goal. Bishop allowed four goals in 20 shots.
The Canucks came out firing with 10 of the first 11 shots on goal and a 16-6 advantage for the first period.
Boucher had another scoring chance five minutes after his first goal, but Bishop made a pad save on Boucher’s short backhand.
“That was a great save he made on that one. I got about three or four good whacks at it,” Boucher said.
Video review also denied that an attempt by Dallas’ Jason Spezza to tuck the puck into the left corner crossed the goal line midway through the first period.
“Today we were strong on the blue lines,” Markstrom said. “We blocked a ton of shots.”
Gudbranson had five of Vancouver’s 20 blocks.
Daniel Sedin led Vanek with a pass across the blue line for his slap shot from the slot into the upper left corner.
Horvat scored on a wrist shot from the slot at 4:41 of the second period. At 14:35, Boucher deflected Derrick Pouliot’s shot from the blue line past Lehtonen.
NOTES: The Canucks’ previous largest margin of victory had been four goals. Only three teams have fewer points than Vancouver’s 50. … The Stars had their most lopsided loss while tying for the most goals allowed in 2017-18. … Boucher’s goals came in his sixth NHL game this season and tied his career high for a game. … Each team was playing its third game in four days. … Vanek has 23 points in 23 career games against the Stars. … In Markstrom’s first 150 games, his only shutout was this season on Dec. 5 at Carolina, when he had 30 saves.
Canucks: Return home for one game against Florida on Wednesday.
Stars: Finish a three-game homestand on Friday vs. St. Louis.
The Associated Press