NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, January 31st
(All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (32-18-5) at Dallas Stars (24-19-11), 6 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Stars haven't had much luck this year versus the
Coyotes. Maybe a home game against them will help.
Dallas shoots for its sixth straight win at American Airlines Center tonight
while also hoping to halt a five-game skid to Phoenix.
The Stars have won the first two games of a four-game homestand, as well as
five of their last seven contests overall. Dallas began its residency with a
shootout win over Calgary on Wednesday before a 3-2 triumph versus Colorado
two days later.
Mike Modano had two goals in the game, including the game-winner in the third
period. The American-born skater has six goals in his last eight games as well
as 555 in his career.
"I've been feeling much better lately," said Modano, who posted his first
multi-goal game since December 3, 2008. "I think it's a combination of some
valuable time off and just being able to rest up and focus on the games.
Mentally and physically I've been feeling better lately."
Jamie Benn also tallied and Alex Auld made 24 saves for the Stars, who are
16-5-5 at home this year and haven't lost as the host since January 2.
Dallas, three points back of a playoff spot, has lost a pair of meetings to
the Coyotes this year, both in Phoenix. The Stars haven't beaten the Coyotes
since December 16 of last season at home, and have dropped four of their last
five as the host to Phoenix.
Phoenix comes into this contest having won three in a row and four of its last
five games. The Coyotes will try to post their first four-game winning streak
since a run of five consecutive victories from November 27-December 7.
The Coyotes begin a four-game road trip tonight one day after posting a 3-2
win over the New York Rangers. Shane Doan and Mikkel Boedker scored 41 seconds
apart inside the first seven minutes of the first period and Sami Lepisto
scored his first career NHL goal to cap Phoenix's three-goal first period.
Boedker was filling in for the injured Scottie Upshall, who leads Phoenix with
18 goals but is out with a lower-body injury. Upshall did not make the trip to
Jason LaBarbera made 24 saves, but was beaten twice in the third period to
make it a close game.
"We had two critical errors to let them back in the game," Coyotes head coach
Dave Tippett said. "And that's why we had a frenetic finish."
Tippett was fired by Dallas this past offseason after serving the previous six
seasons as its head coach. He guided the club to the postseason in his first
five years on the bench, but the Stars failed to make the playoffs last year.
Tonight marks Tippett's first game back in Dallas since the June firing.
The Coyotes, who have lost four of their last six on the road, are fourth in
the Western Conference with 69 points, 12 back of first-place San Jose in the
01/31 10:32:16 ET