NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 11th (All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (24-25-5) at Dallas Stars (26-19-7), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two clubs headed in opposite directions square off tonight, as the Phoenix Coyotes, losers of six straight, visit the streaking Dallas Stars and American Airlines Center.
Phoenix has matched its longest losing streak of the season, having also lost six in a row from November 13-24, and has fallen into last place in the Pacific Division. With 53 points, the Coyotes are now four points out of a playoff spot in the West.
Dallas, meanwhile, has won seven of its last eight games and after some early season struggles is now tied with Anaheim for both second in the Pacific and fifth overall in the Western Conference.
With their 4-1 win over Nashville on Sunday, the Stars improved to 18-8-3 since offseason pickup Sean Avery was suspended by the league in early December for off-the-ice comments made about his former girlfriends. Dallas decided to cut ties with Avery after that suspension and made strides to permanently remove him from the roster this week.
Avery cleared waivers on Monday and was assigned to the Hartford Wolfpack, the New York Rangers' American Hockey League. Avery is in the first year of a four-year, $15.5 million deal signed in the offseason and had three goals and seven assists in 23 games.
In on-the-ice action, should Marty Turco man the pipes for Dallas tonight, he will set a club record with his 24th straight start. Turco, who is 25-17-7 with a 2.88 goals against average in 49 starts this year, matched Cesare Maniago's club record set in 1968-69 on Sunday, making 25 saves versus the Predators. Turco, who hasn't had a night off since December 13, is 8-2-0 over his last 10 games with a 1.80 goals against average. He has also won each of his last five starts at home.
Brad Richards registered a goal and an assist in the win over Nashville, Brian Sutherby and Mark Parrish also scored and Steve Ott sealed things with an empty-net tally. Jere Lehtinen collected two assists.
Ott (6 goals, 6 assists) and Lehtinen (4g, 7a) are both riding eight-game point streaks, while Matt Niskanen has an assist in five straight games, notching eight helpers in that span.
Dallas has won five straight at home and is 15-6-4 at American Airlines Center this year. The Stars wrap a four-game homestand on Friday versus Vancouver.
The struggling Coyotes will try to avoid their first seven-game slide since March 13-24, 2000, when they endured an 0-5-2 stretch. Phoenix was blasted in its last game, getting defeated 7-2 at home versus the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. Ilya Bryzgalov got the start in net for Phoenix, but was pulled after giving up four goals on 28 shots through two periods. He was replaced by Mikael Tellqvist, who allowed three goals on 13 shots in the third.
Shane Doan and Steven Goertzen scored the goals for Phoenix, which allowed a season-high seven goals for a third time this season and for the second time in six games.
Phoenix has also lost four straight on the road and is 8-16-3 as the guest this year. The Coyotes will host Vancouver on Thursday to begin a four-game homestand.
The Coyotes are 2-1-1 versus the Stars this year and has also won five of the last eight meetings in the series. Phoenix has also notched a victory in four of their last six in Dallas, though its 2-1 overtime setback at American Airlines Center on December 16 halted a three-game road series win streak.
02/11 10:47:23 ET