Scott Young scored his second goal of the third period, a power-play tally with 4:31 remaining, to give the Stars a 4-3 victory over the Canucks.
Vancouver rallied from a two-goal deficit and forged a 3-3 tie on a power-play goal by Todd Bertuzzi with 7:02 to play. Less than two minutes later, Hatcher left his feet to deliver a high hit on Canucks captain and NHL scoring leader Markus Naslund.
Linden came to Naslund’s defense, administering a clothesline to Hatcher and drawing a roughing penalty.
“I thought he took liberty on Naslund and it was a dirty play. I reacted,” Linden said. “If I had to do it over again, I’m not sure what I would have done. It’s a hard way to lose. I knew as soon as it happened it was going to be a long two minutes. And I didn’t make it.”
On the ensuing power play, Young finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play by knocking Mike Modano’s feed past rookie goaltender Alex Auld.
“Mike sent the puck over. I saw some net, but I didn’t know if I could get it in at that angle,” Young said. “It was a tough angle. I can’t say that I’m not accurate. Maybe it looked that way on the play. It was a great tic-tac-toe play.”
It was the 22nd goal of the season, seventh in the last five contests and fourth game-winner for Young.
“He’s shooting the puck very well,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “He and Modano have been a lethal combination. Scotty has always been a streaky scorer. And he’s on a long streak right now.”
“With four or five minutes left, you get a bad break like that,” Canucks coach Marc Crawford said. “It was a late hit and a high hit. Trevor’s penalty was a penalty as well. But we shouldn’t have been in that predicament because two officials missed that.”
Marty Turco stopped 27 shots to extend his personal unbeaten streak to 16 games (12-0-4) and keep Dallas tied with Detroit for the top seed in the Western Conference.
“A lot can still happen,” Tippett said. “By no means is it over. Everyone is looking at the schedule right now, but anything can happen. All three teams would like the top seed in the conference, and we’ll keep chugging away.”
The Canucks fell three points behind the Stars and Red Wings and had their lead in the Northwest Division sliced to four points over Colorado.
“We were down with a two-goal deficit and battled back to get into the game,” Crawford said. “I’d like to compliment how hard the guys played tonight.”
Ironically, Young’s goal got Turco off the hook after the goalie was penalized for pummeling Trevor Letowski. Bertuzzi put in a rebound of Naslund’s shot to tie it, 3-3.
“I just felt someone on my ankle and I reacted,” said Turco, who returned from an ankle injury Sunday. “You certainly don’t want to let your teammates down. In the third, I let in a bad goal and took that penalty. If it would have ended up a tie game, I would’ve been totally disappointed.”
Moments after defenseman Sergei Zubov put a shot off the goalpost, he beat Auld from high in the left faceoff circle to give the Stars their first lead with four minutes to go in the period.
Young made it 3-1 at 3:45 of the third, but Naslund started the Canucks’ comeback 61 seconds later.
“We battled back, but it’s the penalty-kill again. We gave up two (power-play) goals,” Morrison said. “It’s horrible. It’s costing us the game. This time of year, that can’t happen.”