Stars-Coyotes Preview

Friday, 02.7.2014 / 11:21 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars-Coyotes Preview

Phoenix Coyotes at Dallas Stars
Saturday, February 8
7:00 p.m.
TV: TXA-21
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (26-21-10) wrapped up a 2-0-1 road trip with a 2-1 overtime loss at San Jose on Wednesday. The point gave the Stars points in seven of their last eight games (5-1-2).

“It was a good point,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We’d like to go out of this thing with the extra point, but you take a look at the road trip, getting five out of six and playing the way we did, you’ve got to be happy.”

Saturday’s game will be the Stars’ final one before the Olympic break. It will be their second in five days against the Coyotes, a team they are chasing in the Western Conference playoff race. They are two points behind the Coyotes, who currently hold the final wild card spot in the West.

“We’re playing a team we need to beat. You couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Ruff. “Those games are really important. Somebody says four-point games. There really are games that can make the difference. By the end of the year, you’re going to look back on certain games and that one will probably be one of them.”

Injuries: D Stephane Robidas (leg) is out.

About the Coyotes

The Coyotes (27-20-10) took over the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 2-0 victory over Chicago Friday night. Mike Smith stopped 30 shots for his second shutout of the season and the Coyotes scored twice on the power play.

“[Smith] played really well,” said Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata, who scored one of Phoenix’s goals. “That’s how we are set up; for us to be successful it starts with him. Then we have to do our job up front. It was a great job by him.”

Phoenix has a one point lead over Vancouver for the final wild card spot in the West. They have a two point lead over Dallas.

“Everybody has to look at the standings. Everybody knows the situation,” Vrbata said. “We lost to Dallas a couple nights ago (3-1 in Phoenix Tuesday), so we have to go there and try to get those two points back.”

Defenseman Derek Morris suffered an upper body injury in Friday’s game and is not expected to travel with the team to Dallas. Smith is expected to start in goal.

Injuries: D Derek Morris (upper body) is out.

Series Notes

*This is the second of three meetings between the Stars and Coyotes.

*The Stars are 1-0-0 in the season series and the Coyotes are 0-1-0.

*February 4, Dallas at Phoenix: Stars 3, Coyotes 1

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 3-1-1 in their last five games at home.

*The Coyotes are 1-3-3 in their last seven games on the road.

*The Stars have allowed 11 goals over their last eight games (1.38 per game).

*The Coyotes have allowed seven goals over their last five games (1.40).

*The Stars have allowed 23.4 shots per game over their last eight contests.

*Phoenix has scored on the power play in 13 of its last 16 games and is 14-56 (25.0 percent) on the PP during that stretch.

*The Stars are 11-39 (28.2 percent) on the power play over the last 12 games.

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

*Coyotes center Antoine Vermette has nine goals in the last 11 games.

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.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
11 ARI 53 24 23 6 139 163 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 54 28 33 16 61
T. Seguin 54 28 30 11 58
J. Klingberg 54 9 35 15 44
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 54 16 24 -1 40
A. Goligoski 54 4 20 17 24
C. Eakin 54 10 13 1 23
M. Janmark 54 10 10 13 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 51 6 13 7 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 14 5 0 .909 2.82
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