VANCOUVER — Thatcher Demko recorded his second shutout of the year and the Vancouver Canucks improved their home record to 4-0-1 with a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars in front of a dialed-in crowd on Saturday at Rogers Arena.
Vancouver got goals from Pius Suter and Elias Pettersson to improve their NHL record to 8-2-1. The Stars suffered their first loss in four games, falling to 7-2-1.
Demko made 27 saves for the Canucks as he improved his lifetime record against Dallas to 7-0-0. Jake Oettinger stopped 26 shots for Dallas.
Each team saw plenty of special-teams opportunities, but the power play came up empty on both sides. Vancouver went 0-for-5 against the NHL’s second-best penalty kill, while Dallas was 0-for-3 on their power play.
The Stars came into Rogers Arena on a three-game winning streak, and playing their third game in four nights in Western Canada. Meanwhile, the Canucks had been unbeaten in regulation in their previous six games (5-0-1).
A fast-paced first period was scoreless thanks to strong goaltending at both ends of the ice. The highlight was a point-blank glove save on Wyatt Johnston by Demko during the Stars’ first power play of the night, just over five minutes in.
In the middle frame, Vancouver tilted the ice and outshot Dallas 14-5. The Canucks opened the scoring at 4:20, when Suter worked a give-and-go with Dakota Joshua before breaking to the slot and directing the puck past Oettinger’s glove hand. It was Suter’s second goal of the season, and second in as many games.
With 5:06 left in the middle frame, Pettersson connected for his sixth of the year. He converted a pass from Filip Hronek past Oettinger for his 20th point of the season, tying him with Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils for the NHL scoring lead and extending his personal point streak to five games.
Shortly afterward, Ian Cole and Mason Marchment dropped the gloves after Cole laid a hard hit on Stars forward Matt Duchene. Duchene did not return to the game.
The third period was scoreless, with the shots 9-6 for Dallas. The Stars’ best chance came when Craig Smith got in alone just over five minutes in. With Demko in perfect position on his post, Smith’s shot attempt bounced off the outside of the net.
The Canucks came into Saturday’s game as the NHL’s highest-scoring team, averaging 4.6 goals per game, and had the league’s best goal differential at plus-24. … Vancouver’s 7-2-1 start through 10 games is their third-best in franchise history. They tallied 17 points in their first 10 games in 1991-92 and 2005-06. …. With 16 points in nine games, Elias Pettersson was named the NHL’s second star of the month.
The Canucks host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday before hitting the road for Eastern Canada.
The Stars return home to face the Boston Bruins on Monday after going 2-1-0 across Western Canada.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2023.
Carol Schram, The Canadian Press