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Stars Look To Rebound, Host Canucks

(Sports Network) - Count the Vancouver Canucks as one club that won't be cheering the end of 2010. The club has just one loss in December and it aims for its second four-game winning streak of the month this evening as they visit the Dallas Stars and American Airlines Center.

The Northwest Division-leading Canucks are coming off Tuesday's 6-2 victory over the Flyers -- their first home win over the franchise since 1989 -- and are 8-0-2 in their last 10 games and 12-1-2 over the past 15. Vancouver's lone regulation loss in that span came on Dec. 5 and the club also begins a three- game road trip tonight 5-0-1 in its last six on the road.

The Canucks haven't lost as the visiting team in regulation since Nov. 17 at Pittsburgh.

Ryan Kesler has helped spark Vancouver's current run of seven wins in eight games. The forward has seven goals and seven assists over an eight-game point streak, logging two goals and a helper in the victory over the Flyers.

Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist, brother Henrik donated three helpers and Jeff Tambellini stretched his point streak to six games (4 goals, 2 assists) with a goal as the Canucks outshot the Flyers 22-8 in the first period before breaking the game open with three second-period goals.

"We want to measure ourselves against the best and we knew these guys [the Flyers] were at the top," said goalie Roberto Luongo after making 35 saves. "I think we had a huge first period that really carried us."

Following the victory, Luongo returned to Florida for the birth of his son on Wednesday, so Cory Schneider will start for the third time in four games this evening. Schneider is 5-0-2 on the season, but did lose his only other career start versus the Stars despite 45 saves on Nov. 6, 2009 in Dallas.

Vancouver is four points up on Colorado for the top spot in the Northwest Division and owns a one-point lead over Pacific Division-leading Dallas for the Western Conference's second seed. The Stars, though, have lost three of their last four games and are coming off Wednesday's 7-3 setback to the conference's top team, the Detroit Red Wings.

Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist and Brad Richards scored in the loss. Mark Fistric, who scored for the first time in 82 games in Tuesday's win over Nashville, tallied for a second game in a row to give him three in 163 career games.

Kari Lehtonen let in six goals on 25 shots in the loss, Dallas' third in a row at home. The club now leads the Kings and Sharks by just three points for the division lead.

"We came out in the third and played a little bit sloppy," said Stars forward Brenden Morrow. "We over-pursued and lost coverage. They capitalized on our mistakes."

Trevor Daley added an assist on the same day the blueliner signed a six-year contract extension.

Lehtonen is 1-2-0 with a 2.64 goals-against average in his career versus the Canucks, who have won five of the last six meetings overall. However, Vancouver has lost nine of its last 12 at Dallas.

Kesler has five goals and three assists in his last six games versus the Stars.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.