Pettersson puts up three points as Canucks dump Stars 6-2 for sixth straight win

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VANCOUVER — Jason Dickinson knows he needs to have a short memory as his Vancouver Canucks continue their unlikely push for a playoff spot.

The veteran forward had a big night on Monday, putting up a goal and two assists as the Canucks dumped the Dallas Stars 6-2, extending their win streak to six games.

"It’s big. It means a lot to me," he 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.”

Coming into the game, Dickinson had eight points (four goals, four assists) in 55 appearances this season.

The 26-year-old looked like a different player on Monday, said Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau.

"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.'"

Dickinson was one of three Canucks with three-point nights against Dallas.

Elias Pettersson scored twice and had an assist for Vancouver (38-28-10) and Brock Boeser contributed a goal and two helpers. Vasily Podkolzin added a goal and an assist, Conor Garland scored and Oliver Ekman-Larsson tallied two assists.

The Stars (43-28-5) replied with two goals from Roope Hintz, including a short-handed tally in the second period.

Thatcher Demko stopped 28 of 30 shots for Vancouver, which swept the three-game season series between the teams.

Dallas 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 position that also comes with a post-season 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 Canucks were relentless Monday, continuing to press after the Stars pulled Wedgewood with nearly five minutes left on the game clock.

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 laser into the back of the net.

A fight broke out late in the second period after Dallas' Jamie Benn ran Vancouver's Quinn Hughes into the end boards.

Canucks defenceman Luke Schenn took exception to the play and dropped the gloves with Benn. Both players got blows in before Schenn tossed Benn to the ice.

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 centre 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, US$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 on Monday but the team has faith in him, said Stars coach Rick Bowness.

"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 feather pass to spring Pettersson and Boeser for a two-on-one 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 slapshot 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.

Monday marked the first half of a back-to-back for the Canucks, who'll close out a five-game homestand on Tuesday when they host the Ottawa Senators. The Stars take on the Oilers in Edmonton on Wednesday.

Notes: Alex Chiasson was a late scratch for the Canucks with a non-COVID illness. The right-winger took the warm-up but was replaced in the lineup by Nic Petan. … Stars defenceman 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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 18, 2022.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

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