NEWS
12/04/2015 00:50 EST | Updated 12/04/2016 00:12 EST

Patrick Sharp scores winner as Stars top Canucks

VANCOUVER — Patrick Sharp scored the winner with 5:59 left in the third period as the Dallas Stars beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Thursday.

Sharp took a stretch pass from Dallas defenceman Alex Goligoski and wove into the Vancouver zone before beating Canucks goalie Ryan Miller with a quick shot through the pads for his ninth of the season.

Vancouver head coach Willie Desjardins used his challenge to see if the play was offside, but the call stood after review.

Valeri Nichushkin, with a goal and an assist, and Tyler Seguin also scored for the Stars (20-5-1), who became the NHL's first team to 20 wins this season while also matching the Montreal Canadiens atop the overall standings with 41 points. Jason Spezza added another goal into an empty net, while Goligoski picked up two assists.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 14 shots to get the Stars' 10th straight victory over Vancouver and fifth straight at Rogers Arena.

Alexander Edler and Jannik Hansen replied for the Canucks (9-10-8), who have lost four straight and 12 of their last 15. Miller made 30 stops for Vancouver, and Henrik Sedin added two assists.

Trailing 2-1 through 40 minutes, Vancouver tied the game at 5:31 of the third when Henrik Sedin jumped on a Goligoski giveaway and fed a wide-open Hansen, who cooly beat Lehtonen for his eighth goal of the season.

The Canucks were coming off a 1-1-2 road trip that included a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars and had a great chance to grab the lead when Hansen ripped a one-timer wide midway through the third.

Dallas blew a 3-0 lead in the third period of Tuesday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Calgary Flames and had a great opportunity at the other end when Miller shot out a pad to deny Vernon Fiddler with about seven minutes remaining before Sharp's winner and Spezza's 11th into an empty net sealed it.

After the teams traded goals in the first, Dallas took the lead 33 seconds into the second when Nichushkin grabbed the puck behind the Vancouver net and fed a slick between-the-legs pass back to Seguin, who beat Miller on the shortside for his 14th goal of the season.

The Canucks were outshot 18-6 in the period and finally provided a bit of resistance with about five minutes to go only to see Seguin nearly bury his second of the night from the slot when the Stars turned back the other way.

Vancouver opened the scoring 56 seconds into the first when Edler, whose costly giveaway led to Anze Kopitar's winner in Tuesday's 2-1 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings, fired a shot from the point that found its way through traffic and past Lehtonen for his fifth.

The Stars tied things up at 11:09 when Nichushkin outraced Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis before avoiding Miller's attempted poke check to slide home his third.

Notes: The Canucks announced Wednesday that Brandon Sutter will miss four to six weeks after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia. The centre hasn't suited up since Nov. 10. ... The Canucks continue a four-game homestand against on Saturday against Boston. ... The Stars visit Edmonton on Friday.

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Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press