NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 8th
(All times Eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (27-20-10) at Dallas Stars (26-21-10), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Coyotes beat a number of talented teams on
their recently-completed homestand, but came up short versus the Dallas Stars
a few nights ago.
The Coyotes will try to avenge that setback on Saturday evening as they visit
Phoenix went 3-2-0 on its residency, beating Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and
Chicago around losses to Buffalo and Dallas. The Coyotes' 2-0 win over the
Central Division-leading Blackhawks last night put Phoenix into the eighth
spot in the Western Conference.
Mike Smith made 30 saves for his second shutout of the season and 26th of his
career. Keith Yandle scored a power-play goals and Radim Vrbata lit the lamp
during a 5-on-3 advantage, while Antoine Vermette had an assist to stretch his
point streak to nine straight games (8 goals, 4 assists).
"It's go-time and you need to bring your 'A' game when you play against a team
like that," said Smith. "It just gives you that much more motivation and it's
nice to see us pull this one here."
Phoenix upped its point total to 64, one ahead of Vancouver for eighth place
in the standings. Dallas is two points back of that spot.
Forward Martin Hanzal missed last night's game due to illness, while
defenseman Derek Morris exited in the first period with an upper-body ailment.
The Coyotes and Stars met for the first time this season on Tuesday, with
Dallas notching a 3-1 road win. The Stars have won four of the past six
meetings overall and three straight at home.
Vermette had a goal for Phoenix and Smith came up with 37 saves, while the
Stars got goals by Antoine Roussel, Ryan Garbutt and Shawn Horcoff as well as
27 stops by Kari Lehtonen.
Dallas' win over Phoenix was part of a 2-0-1 road trip that concluded with
Wednesday's 2-1 overtime setback to the San Jose Sharks.
Valeri Nichushkin scored the lone goal for the Stars and Lehtonen turned aside
"It was a good point," Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said. "If you let go of the
sting of the extra point, and take a look at the road trip, getting five of
six points and playing the way we did, you've got to be happy."
Dallas' first three games after the Olympic break, which begins for the league
on Sunday, also are at home, while the Coyotes open a three-game road trip
tonight that features trips to Winnipeg and Colorado after the hiatus.
02/08 16:03:10 ET