The Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars each dropped their most
recent games, but one team will likely be more desperate to bounce
back Tuesday night.
As they try to climb back into playoff position, the Stars will
attempt to avoid a damaging fourth consecutive loss when they visit
the short-handed Coyotes, who look to remain fourth in the Western
Phoenix (41-25-11) fell 4-1 to San Jose on Saturday after going
8-1-1 in its previous 10 games. After practice Monday, Coyotes
coach Dave Tippett had put that loss behind and was focused on the
Tippett’s club is six points ahead of ninth-place Calgary and
seven up on Dallas in 10th.
“If we can win this game, it puts (the Stars) nine points behind
us. That’s a big hill for them to climb,” the former Dallas coach
said. “There’s still some teams behind us, but we’ve got to take
care of ourselves. When you beat teams that are under you in the
standings, that’s moving forward.”
The Stars, meanwhile, were trying to stay positive following a
4-2 defeat at fellow playoff contender Nashville on Saturday.
Brenden Morrow scored the tying goal in the second period, but
Dallas was blanked over the final 35:53.
“We have to stay up. We can’t get down,” defenseman Trevor Daley
told the team’s website Monday. “Everybody’s got to be positive and
we’ve got to be excited. That’s when we play our best, when we’re
positive, excited and going. So that’s what we’ve got to do.”
Dallas has fallen from fourth in the West on March 11 to its
current position during a 1-3-2 stretch, but Brad Richards said his
team isn’t panicking yet.
“You definitely start to feel that you’ve got to get some wins
here, that’s for sure,” Richards told the team’s website.
Dallas (38-26-10) will try to earn one of those wins against a
Coyotes team that might not have Martin Hanzal, Lauri Korpikoski
and Vernon Fiddler due to injuries.
Phoenix, though, does head into this game after getting
consecutive days off for the first time since March 11-12. After
facing Dallas, the Coyotes will play once in seven days. Captain
Shane Doan said he hoped the lighter schedule would help his
“Not playing today was huge,” he said Monday. “To have two days
off where we could be at home was nice. We have a big game coming
up. … It’s going to be a business-like, hard game.”
The Stars will also attempt to add to Ilya Bryzgalov’s struggles
from Saturday. The Phoenix goaltender, though, had a 1.29
goals-against average over seven games before giving up four goals
to San Jose.
Bryzgalov couldn’t stop Jamie Benn from scoring with 4.8 seconds
left in regulation during a 3-2 home loss to Dallas on March 1.
The Stars’ second win in three trips to Phoenix also snapped
their three-game slide in the series.
Doan will try to help his team claim this matchup by adding to
his team-best six points (three goals, three assists) against
Dallas this season. The Coyotes likely will face Kari Lehtonen, who
has given up seven goals over his last two starts.
Lehtonen is 2-1-1 with a 2.27 GAA against Phoenix this
The Stars’ Loui Eriksson has five goals and five assists in his
past eight games versus the Coyotes, while Richards has three goals
and five assists in his last seven.