VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Richard Bachman and Mike Ribeiro helped the Dallas Stars keep up their late-season surge.
Bachman, the rookie goalie, settled down after facing an early penalty shot and Ribeiro scored two goals to lead the Stars to a 5-2 win over Vancouver on Tuesday that put Dallas in first place in the Pacific Division.
"Starting off with a penalty shot to warm up is never what you want to see as a goalie," said the 24-year-old Salt Lake City native who faced Canucks rookie Zack Kassian on the penalty shot.
However the puck dribbled off the Canucks rookie's stick.
"Once that was done it kind of helped settle me in and after the first period I really got comfortable," Bachman said.
It was only his second start ahead of Kari Lehtonen in 17 games, and he remained poised even after giving up the game's first goal in the second period.
"I guess I fooled you guys," Bachman said when told he appeared pretty calm after he misplayed a shoot-in leading to another early chance by Henrik Sedin.
"In the first period I actually felt some jitters. It was the first NHL game I started in Canada. The atmosphere was amazing."
The lack of recent playing time didn't seem to faze Bachman, who improved to 8-3-1.
"You may not get too many more (starts)," he said after Dallas won for the seventh time in eight games. "It's come ready and have fun with it."
Ribeiro scored twice to give the Stars 2-1 and 4-2 leads. Loui Eriksson started the comeback late in the second period, Jamie Benn got what proved to be the winner and Stephane Robidas scored into an empty net.
Chris Higgins opened the scoring 26 minutes 45 seconds into what began as a tight-checking game.
Alex Edler drew the Canucks within a goal at 3-2 with a shot that deflected behind Bachman off a defender's stick.
Dallas (36-26-5) swept a three-game Western Canada road trip and ended a string of five losses in Vancouver to continue a drive for a first Western Conference playoff berth since 2008.
The Canucks (41-18-8) lost ground in their bid for the NHL's overall lead by dropping their second game in a row at home.
Vancouver also lost a second straight game in regulation for the first time since early November to fall a point behind St. Louis in the Western Conference.
The Stars capitalized on odd-man rushes and Vancouver defensive zone turnovers.
Ribeiro scored with 23 seconds remaining in the second period and less than three minutes after Eriksson counted his fifth goal in six games.