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Stars blank Canucks 2-0 behind Lehtonen’s 27 saves

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves for his second shutout this season and the 29th of his career as the Dallas Stars defeated Vancouver 2-0 on Wednesday night to extend the Canucks’ losing streak to five games.

Colton Sceviour and Antoine Roussel, into an empty net, scored for the Stars.

Eddie Lack stopped 27 shots for Vancouver. Lack started for the first time since Dec. 7 in place of No. 1 goalie Ryan Miller, who gave up five goals on 23 shots in a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday.

Lehtonen has four wins this month but came in with a 3.10 goals-against average on the season.

Sceviour opened the scoring at 2:53 of the second period when his backhand shot deflected off the back of Lack’s glove and into the net.

Jannik Hansen had a great chance for Vancouver seconds earlier, stripping Jyrki Jokipakka at the Dallas blue line before Lehtonen stopped him with a glove save.

Dallas increased its pressure throughout the second, forcing Lack to make 11 saves, while Vancouver could only muster four shots — including a clear breakaway by Alexandre Burrows that Lehtonen denied.

The Canucks came out stronger in the third period, with Chris Tanev aiming a one-timer at Lehtonen just more than six minutes in.

Dallas’ John Klingberg took a tripping penalty 8:26 into the third period. The Canucks had a number of chances to score with the man advantage, but couldn’t find a way to beat Lehtonen.

Linden Vey had another chance on a one-timer with just more than six minutes to go but hit it at Lehtonen.

Lack had to make a couple of big saves to keep his team in it as the period wound down, including a breakaway shot from Curtis McKenzie, which Lack stopped with his pads.

Vancouver pulled its goalie with 1:35 left as it piled on the pressure, but Roussel scored into the empty net with 26 seconds to go.

Unlike Saturday’s game when the Canucks found themselves down 3-0 after just 6:46, they came out stronger Wednesday. Radim Vrbata had the first chance, forcing Lehtonen to make a glove save just 36 seconds into the game before Hansen hit the side of the net a few moments later.

Lack was largely left alone throughout the first period as the Stars managed only five shots, but Tyler Seguin hit the crossbar before Jamie Benn had a good look from the slot on a shot the Canucks’ goalie snagged with his glove.

NOTES: The Canucks have two games left on a four-game homestand, including Saturday against Calgary. … Dallas has two games remaining on its three-game road trip, playing Friday against the Flames. … Tom Sestito was a healthy scratch for the Canucks.

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