VANCOUVER - Maybe it's the white jerseys, the catered food, or the plane rides. Whatever, the Stars need to correct it quickly before the season gets past the point of no return.
It's been a tale of two teams this year for the Stars, and Thursday was no different in Vancouver, as Dallas dropped its 10th consecutive road game, this time falling to the Canucks 4-3 at GM Place.
The Stars came to the Pacific Northwest riding a two-game winning streak earned back in Big D, and with high hopes of continuing that success to help start burying some road demons that have plagued them since last month. Instead, they were handed another defeat on foreign ice, where they are now 0-8-2 since a shootout win at San Jose on Dec. 11.
The Stars are an impressive 14-5-5 at home, but an ugly 7-13-6 on the road.
"We've been stressing taking positives from games, and for a large part of the game we had the effort we needed, and were playing like we wanted. Then we let it slip," Auld said. "We have to keep learning from these things and move on. We have to get better."
Auld made his third straight start in favor of Marty Turco, and faced his former team for the first time. Auld played four seasons for the Canucks to start his career, but was undone by a pair of Vancouver goals in the third period.
With the game tied, 2-2, after 40 minutes, Christian Ehrhoff and Kyle Wellwood potted third-period goals to snap the deadlock and give the surging Canucks their 10th win in their last 14 games.
Daley capped the scoring with his second of the year with just 2.8 seconds to go.
Mason Raymond and Alex Burrows also scored, and former Stars defenseman Brad Lukowich added a pair of assists for Vancouver. Roberto Luongo, making his 21st consecutive start, finished with 20 saves.
Vancouver took a 3-2 lead on Ehrhoff's 10th of the season 5 minutes into the third period when he knifed through the slot with speed before letting a quick wrist shot go.
Wellwood iced it with 3:29 left in regulation with his fifth of the year.
Tied 1-1 after one period, Petersen gave the Stars their first lead of the game with a shorthanded goal midway through the second period. Moments after Vancouver defenseman Alex Edler rang a slap shot from the point off the post, Petersen flew down the left wing with the puck before unleashing a wicked blast from the top of the left circle that whizzed past Luongo's glove.
It was Petersen's sixth goal of the year.
Burrows was the beneficiary of an Auld gaffe, and tied it with his 23rd with a minute left in the second with a shorthanded goal of his own. Burrows was able to steal the puck away from Auld in the lower part of the right circle, and eventually corralled the puck before flipping it into the empty net while Auld scrambled to get back to make it 2-2.
"He kind of took my one defenseman away. Where he was at, I couldn't really get a clean pass to him," Auld said. "I was feeling good playing the puck earlier in the game, so I thought I'd try to make a move, but he got his stick on it. He got behind me, and it was just a scramble after that."
Raymond opened the scoring for the Canucks when he popped in his 18th of the season with 5:44 left in the opening frame. After picking up a loose puck along the left boards at the Dallas blue line, Mason skated diagonally into the Stars zone before lifting a backhand over Auld's shoulder from the lower part of the right circle.
Eriksson tied it 2:32 later with his team-high 21st of the year. Defenseman Karlis Skrastins pinched in from the left point and ultimately fed Eriksson a pass from behind the goal line. Eriksson promptly deposited the puck past Luongo from the low slot.
The Stars will not have much rest before hitting the ice again, as they face the Oilers in Edmonton on Friday night at 8 p.m. (FSSW). The Oilers own the worst record in the Western Conference, having earned only 38 points in 49 games.
Edmonton has lost nine straight, and has just one win in 17 games.
-- Captain Brenden Morrow missed his second straight game because of an upper-body injury.
-- The Stars have now scored four times while shorthanded.
-- Dallas lost center Tom Wandell in the third period after he absorbed a hit along the boards and he is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
-- Center Mike Modano picked up an assist on Daley's goal, leaving him four short of 800 for his NHL career.
-- Skrastins snapped a 14-game point drought with his assist on Eriksson's goal.
-- Eriksson has goals in each of his last three games.
-- The Stars finished the four-game season series with Vancouver with a 1-2-1 mark.
-- There were no penalties called in the third period.
-- The last time the Stars won in regulation on the road was on Nov. 18 at Detroit. Since then they are 1-10-3.
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