Despite coming off a loss, the Dallas Stars took away some
positives from the effort.
The Stars look to continue their recent solid play and defeat
the Coyotes for a third straight time when they visit Phoenix on
After a five-game losing streak during which it got outscored
21-3, Dallas won two in a row before losing 4-3 in a shootout to
Toronto on Friday. The Stars (13-8-1) rallied from a pair of
one-goal deficits to force overtime and salvage a point in the
standings, but failed to score in the shootout.
“When it comes down to a shootout, it’s a chance, and those you
kind of take with a grain of salt,” Eric Nystrom, who had two
goals, told the Stars’ official website. “We played really hard
tonight, we did a lot of good things, and we have to continue doing
Although they are 0 for 10 on the power play over their last
three games, the Stars have totaled 10 goals while averaging 34
shots in those contests. They averaged 25.4 shots on goal per game
during the losing streak.
Dallas’ latest effort came without captain Brenden Morrow, who
will also miss the next two games with an upper-body injury.
Saturday’s matchup with Phoenix figures to be closely-contested.
The last six meetings between the teams have been decided by one
goal. The Stars have won both of this season’s meetings in dramatic
fashion, scoring the tying goal in the final two minutes of
regulation each time before prevailing in shootouts.
Like Dallas, Phoenix (11-7-3) is coming off a loss. Unlike the
Stars, the Coyotes can’t take many positives away from it. They
fell 5-0 to Vancouver on Friday, managing only 22 shots against
Canucks goalie Cory Schneider. Mike Smith allowed three goals
during the second period.
“Our execution was so far below normal it wasn’t even a game,”
Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. “The execution of winning a
one-on-one battle was non-existent and we kept turning it over. …
We killed a 5-on-3, but after that scrap it.”
Radim Vrbata, who had five goals in his previous three games,
finished the night a minus-1.
It was the third shutout loss for Phoenix in 11 home games.
“The good thing is we have 24 hours, and we’re back at it
(Saturday),” left wing Raffi Torres said. “So we’ll put this behind
Jason LaBarbera could make his fifth start of the season for the
Coyotes to give Smith a rest. LaBarbera is 1-3-0 with a 3.28
goals-against average this season, most recently allowing four
goals in a 4-3 loss to Washington on Monday.
However, LaBarbera is 3-1-1 with a 1.72 GAA in his last four
starts against the Stars. Smith has been in net for both losses