NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Dallas Stars (3-4-1) at Phoenix Coyotes (2-4-2), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars hope to post their first winning streak of
the season on Saturday night as they attempt to sweep a home-and-home set with
the rival Phoenix Coyotes.
The Stars took the opener on Friday in Dallas, notching a 4-3 shootout win to
snap a four-game slide (0-3-1). Two of their three victories this season have
come versus the Coyotes, who they also beat at home 4-3 to begin the season on
Antoine Roussel scored in his NHL debut and Brenden Dillon notched the first
points of his career with a goal and an assist. He also picked up a fighting
major in the win, while Kari Lehtonen made 31 saves and stopped 3-of-4 skaters
in the shootout.
Dallas then secured the two points thanks to goals from Jamie Benn and Jaromir
Jagr in the tiebreaker.
"We still have areas we have to clean up in our game, the turnovers and we
need to play the game the right way," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "I think
that's important for us moving forward, there is still some clean up that has
to happen here regardless if we got two points."
Dallas, which was without defenseman Aaron Rome due to flu-like symptoms, will
now play three straight and six of its next seven on the road, where it is
1-3-0 this season.
Phoenix, meanwhile, is on its third two-game slide of the season, though each
of its past two setbacks has come past regulation. Martin Hanzal had two goals
on Friday, while Radim Vrbata, who scored in the shootout, had a goal and an
"I thought our team hung around the game, competed really hard and gave
ourselves a chance to win, but in the end gave a point up," Coyotes coach Dave
Playing for the first time in five games due to a groin injury, Mike Smith
made 21 saves as the Coyotes fell to 2-4-2 on the season.
"Not really many positive things, but just tried to battle, stay in it and
give the team a chance," Smith said of his return.
"It was just one of those games where the puck bounces the wrong way for us,
and they got three goals out of it. We just need to stick with it and we'll
get them (Saturday)."
Though Smith returned to action, forward Steve Sullivan missed the game with a
lower body injury. He could sit out his third game in a row on Saturday as
Phoenix begins a three-game homestand.
While the Stars have won three straight over the Coyotes, they have dropped
eight of their past 11 in Phoenix.
02/02 10:29:16 ET