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Stars-Coyotes Preview

Monday, 02.03.2014 / 11:10 PM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Coyotes Preview
Previewing Tuesday night\'s tilt between the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes.

Dallas Stars at Phoenix Coyotes
Tuesday, February 4
8:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (25-21-9) opened their three-game road trip with a 2-0 win at Anaheim Saturday night. Dan Ellis stopped 26 shots for his first shutout of the season. It was the first time the league-leading Ducks had been shutout in 2013-14.

“It was a good game,” said Stars forward Rich Peverley. “First two periods we didn’t really give them too much. I thought we were skating really well. Especially against a team like this that is really offensive, we did a good job with back pressure and not giving them time with the puck.”

The Stars enter Tuesday night’s game in tenth place in the Western Conference. They are three points behind ninth place Phoenix and four points behind Vancouver, which holds the playoff spot. The Stars will play Phoenix in two of their next three games.

“It’s the teams you want to play when you want to try to move up,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “They are going to look at it the same way.”

Injuries: D Stephane Robidas (leg) is out.

About the Coyotes

The Coyotes (26-19-10) are coming off a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday. Mike Smith made 23 saves and his teammates blocked 20 shots as the Coyotes won for the third time in the last five games (3-1-1).

“It’s one of the more complete games we’ve played this year, that’s for sure,” said Phoenix coach Dave Tippett. “Right from the goaltender out to everybody in front of him, I thought it was a real competitive game, a fast game and we found a way to get on top of it.”

The Coyotes, who have won consecutive games just once since the middle of December, are looking to build on Saturday’s win as they head towards the Olympic break. They enter Tuesday’s game just one point behind Vancouver for the final playoff spot in the West.

“We talked about the importance of these three games (before the break),” said Tippett. “Dallas is scratching and trying to get back in that playoff position just like we are. The importance of that will not go understated.”

Injuries: No significant injuries.

Series Notes

*This is the first of three meetings between the Stars and Coyotes this season.

*The Stars were 2-2-0 vs. the Coyotes last season.

*The Coyotes were 2-1-1 vs. the Stars last season.

*The Stars are 80-62-19 all-time vs. the Phoenix franchise.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars have allowed one goal or fewer in four of their last six games, including three shutouts.

*The Stars have allowed 23.0 shots per game over the last six games.

*The Coyotes have scored on the power play in 12 of their last 14 games and are 12-49 (24.5 percent) on the PP during that stretch.

*The Stars are 20-23 (87.0 percent) on the penalty kill over the last eight games.

*The Stars have scored on the power play in eight of the last ten games and are 10-34 (29.4 percent) on the PP during that stretch.

*The Coyotes are 16-17 (94.1 percent) on the penalty kill over the last six games.

*Stars captain Jamie Benn is on a five-game goal scoring streak and has points in six straight games (five goals, five assists).

*Stars center Tyler Seguin has points in five straight games (three goals, six assists).

*Coyotes center Antoine Vermette has scored eight goals over his last nine games.

*Stars forward Rich Peverley ranks second in the NHL in faceoff percentage at 59.7.

*Coyotes center Antoine Vermette ranks 10th at 56.0 percent.

*The Stars are 11-2-2 vs. the Pacific Division.

*The Coyotes are 4-5-2 vs. the Central Division.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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