NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, April 3rd
(All times eastern)
Dallas Stars (43-29-7) at Phoenix Coyotes (37-36-6), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - With no playoffs in sight the Phoenix Coyotes will at least
get a glimpse of the future tonight, as Kyle Turris is expected to make his
NHL debut in a test against the Dallas Stars at Jobing.com Arena.
Phoenix and its 80 points won't be playing past the regular season for a fifth
straight campaign, but the club will at least give its fans something to cheer
for tonight in the home finale.
Turris, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft, just completed his
collegiate career after Wisconsin fell to North Dakota in the NCAA Men's Ice
Hockey Tournament on Sunday. He then signed an entry-level contract on Monday
and joined the Coyotes for practice the following day.
The 18-year-old British Columbia native was the Badgers' leading scorer with
11 goals and 36 points in 36 games, while also winning a Gold Medal
representing Canada in the World Junior Championships this past Winter.
Turris skated on a line with 2006 eighth-overall pick Pete Mueller and captain
Shane Doan on Tuesday. He will quickly get to know one of the Coyotes' Pacific
Division rivals, as tonight's game opens a home-and-home set with the Stars.
The two teams will meet in Dallas on Friday.
Phoenix has dropped seven of its last eight games, including Sunday's 3-1
setback to San Jose. Doan had the lone goal, giving him a team-high 28 on the
season. He has three games left to match the career-high 30 he scored in
Doan has already set new career bests with 49 assists and 77 points this year.
Ilja Bryzgalov made 29 saves for Phoenix, and Derek Morris had an assist in
the loss. The Coyotes are 17-19-4 at home this year and after playing in
Dallas, wrap their season in Anaheim on Sunday.
The Coyotes have won two straight over the Stars and are 4-2-0 against them
this year. Phoenix, though, has still lost 10 of its last 15 versus Dallas and
eight of 11 as the host.
The Stars free-fall continued on Sunday, as they lost to Anaheim, 3-2, in a
shootout. Dallas has lost six of seven and nine of its last 11, but has at
least gotten a point in each of its last three games (1-0-2). The Stars are
currently tied with Colorado for fifth in the Western Conference, but have two
games in hand over the Avalanche.
Dallas is also five points back of the Ducks for the fourth seed in the West,
which is also the last spot to open up at home in the postseason. The Stars,
who have already clinched a playoff spot, have three games left while the
Ducks have two and are idle tonight.
Mike Modano scored his 20th goal of the season on Sunday, marking the 16th
time in his career he has reached the 20-goal mark. Niklas Hagman also scored
and Marty Turco stopped 30-of-32 shots in defeat but was beaten twice in the
Following tonight's game the Stars host Phoenix on Friday before ending the
season with a home test against San Jose on Sunday. Dallas has lost four of
its last five on the road, where it is 21-14-5 this season.
04/03 10:44:06 ET