NHL Game Summary - Dallas at Phoenix
(Thursday, April 3rd)
Final Score: Dallas 4, Phoenix 2
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Brenden Morrow had a goal and an assist, and Dallas secured at least the fifth seed in the Western Conference with a 4-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in the opener of a home-and-home series.
The victory ensures Dallas a first-round playoff series with Anaheim, but it's still up in the air which team will get home-ice advantage. The Stars have 95 points, three behind Anaheim with two games left for each team. Dallas plays Phoenix on Friday and closes its season hosting San Jose on Sunday. The Ducks play at Los Angeles on Saturday and close the campaign at home versus the Coyotes Sunday.
Matt Niskanen, Stephane Robidas and Mike Modano also scored for the Stars, while Johan Holmqvist made 21 saves in the victory, Dallas' second in eight contests.
Enver Lisin and Keith Ballard notched goals in the third period for the Coyotes, who are 1-7-1 in their last nine games. Ilya Brzygalov had 32 saves in defeat.
The game marked the debut of 18-year-old center Kyle Turris, who had 22 shifts and five shots on net in nearly 20 minutes of ice time. The 2007 first-round draft pick for the Coyotes signed an entry-level contract on Monday, one day after his University of Wisconsin team was eliminated in the NCAA Hockey playoffs. He centered the top line with captain Shane Doan and fellow teenager Peter Mueller.
Lisin scored at 13:51 of the third and Ballard cut the deficit to 3-2 on a blast from the slot with 3:01 left in regulation, but Modano scored into an empty net with 30.2 seconds remaining to ice Dallas' win.
The Stars dominated the middle period. Niskanen netted his seventh of the season on a shot from the left circle at 5:22 of the second while on the power play. Nearly eight minutes later Robidas scored on a one-timer from the high slot, and Morrow's tally came with a minute remaining in the same period on an incredible mistake by Ballard.
Ballard tried to pass the puck across the ice in his own zone, but it was intercepted in front of the net by Morrow for the easy goal.
Morrow has a six-game point streak...The Stars were without center Brad Richards due to soreness. They were also without their leading point scorer, center Mike Ribeiro...Defenseman Philippe Boucher scored his 200th career assist with a helper on Niskanen's goal...The Coyotes finished the home part of their schedule under .500 with a 17-20-2 record...The Coyotes had won two straight over the Stars and are 4-3-0 against them this year. Phoenix, though, has still lost 11 of its last 16 versus Dallas.
04/04 01:14:14 ET