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Stars-Coyotes Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:49 AM

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Stars-Coyotes Preview
Dallas Stars vs. Phoenix Coyotes

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 Saturday night.

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 that."

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 us."

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 this season.

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 20 '12 PHX 3 at DAL 4 - SO M. Ribeiro
Feb 18 '12 DAL 1 at PHX 2 - OT R. Vrbata
Feb 07 '12 PHX 4 at DAL 1 R. Vrbata
Nov 26 '11 DAL 0 at PHX 3 M. Boedker
Oct 25 '11 DAL 3 at PHX 2 - SO T. Daley
Oct 10 '11 PHX 1 at DAL 2 - SO M. Ribeiro
J. Benn2361723+103312
L. Eriksson23101020+12221
M. Ribeiro2321315+11201
M. Ryder237714+91211
S. Souray234913+93521
S. Ott174610+34512
R. Dvorak232810-5200
E. Nystrom18729+0700
B. Morrow20369+13911
V. Fiddler23358-31401
A. Burish16358-33201
S. Robidas23246+21410
A. Goligoski15246-2210
T. Daley23145+51010
T. Petersen17101-4400
N. Grossmann20011+12200
T. Wandell18011-6200
P. Larsen7011+2000
M. Fistric17000-41000
J. Dowell17000-71700
A. Pardy10000-7600
K. Barch8000-21800
T. Vincour7000-4000
K. Lehtonen1913-4-1435812.34.926
A. Raycroft50-5-0171683.51.899
R. Vrbata2211819+7823
R. Whitney2271118+6820
K. Yandle2221315+01601
S. Doan226814-31030
M. Hanzal203912+41601
L. Korpikoski225510+2601
B. Gordon223710+8401
D. Langkow143710+0401
O. Ekman-Larsson22549-2611
M. Boedker22437-3601
T. Pyatt22347+1600
D. Schlemko21167+5200
R. Torres22336+11600
R. Klesla22055+51100
A. Aucoin22134+51210
D. Morris22044-61400
P. O'Sullivan14213-2000
K. Chipchura12033-11200
C. O'Reilly14022-5400
P. Bissonnette9101-11101
P. Nokelainen5011-1000
A. Miele5000-2400
M. Rozsival1000+0000
M. Smith1811-4-3406012.19.933
J. LaBarbera41-3-0131213.28.893
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