Adam Burish scored with just over a minute remaining in the third period and Trevor Daley connected for the game-winner in the shootout as the Dallas Stars rallied to defeat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 Tuesday night at the Jobing.com Arena.
It was the second time this season the Stars tied the Coyotes late in the third period before prevailing in the shootout, although overall, Dallas played a better game this time than they did back on Oct. 10 in the first meeting.
Coming after Dallas lost a 1-0 heart-breaker in Los Angeles on Saturday, this triumph completes a successful four-game road trip at 3-1-0 for the Pacific Division-leading Stars, who now sport a stellar 7-2-0 record, which also puts them atop the entire Western Conference.
“They’re a really good hockey team, you can see how well-coached they are,” coach Glen Gulutzan said, referring to former Stars coach Dave Tippett behind the other bench. “It was nice to come in and play, I felt, two solid games back-to-back on this road trip. Maybe in that LA game, we could have got a point, and today, we got that point, so things swung in our favor.”
“A lot of us know Tip and the way he likes to play, you know the type of game his team’s going to play every night, so it was a great win to end a great road trip for this team,” said Daley. “It shows the resilience of our club that we could hold on. It’s still early, but we know what happened last year, so every point counts.”
The shootout, which usually lasts three rounds, actually went eight deep this time before Daley’s goal, on his first career shootout attempt, ended it to give Dallas a 2-1 edge in the tie-breaker competition.
Following a save by goaltender Kari Lehtonen on the Coyotes’ Daymond Langkow, Daley, who had at least three glorious scoring chances during the game but didn’t convert, deked to his backhand before slipping the puck past Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith’s glove hand.
“I was happy that Kari at least got the save before to take off a little bit of the pressure,” said Daley. “But it was enjoyable, it was my first one, so I was excited about it.”
“I was wondering how far this was going to go,” said Gulutzan of the shootout. “We had some pretty good shooters, we were going to go with some righties if we got down to it, but thank goodness Dales put one in.”
Lehtonen, who was back in goal for Dallas after taking the day off Saturday for the Stars’ 1-0 loss in Los Angeles, gave another top-notch effort, making 33 saves during the game and another seven in the shootout to record his career-high seventh straight victory.
Dallas also received a goal from Sheldon Souray, off another one of his patented slap shot bombs from the point on the power play that pulled Dallas into a 1-1 tie in the first period.
“We have to get used to playing tight games, it’s a tight league, there’s a lot of good teams,” said Souray. “We’re going to be down by one a lot of times, we’re going to be up by one a lot and we have to learn how to be comfortable and play the right way in those games. Tonight we did, and we got amazing goaltending again from Kari, and we stuck with it. It took until the last minute again, but they’re valuable points tonight.”
Heading into the final period tied 1-1, the Coyotes had the first strong scoring chance 3:18 in when Boyd Gordon curled out from behind the Dallas net with a wrap-around. With about a foot of the net open, Gordon’s shot went along the goal line and hit a surprised Lehtonen’s skate. Lehtonen then made at least one more save on the loose rebound as he covered up the opening.
Phoenix would notch the go-ahead goal on a power play at 8:13 on Coyote captain Shane Doan’s 300th career goal. With Adam Pardy feeling shame in the penalty box for high-sticking, Ray Whitney’s shot from the slot hit Stephane Robidas’ skate in front. The puck bounced back out to Whitney, who then fed a pass over to a wide open Doan in the left face-off circle for a one-timer that beat a sliding Lehtonen to make it 2-1.
The Stars responded with a prime opportunity just 25 seconds later, but Smith made a huge save on Loui Eriksson’s screened shot from in front.
Smith then made a big save on Daley’s booming slap shot from the top of the right circle at 12:04.
Captain Brenden Morrow had a chance with 4:24 to go in regulation, when he cut in front, retrieved Ribeiro’s pass and whacked a backhander that Smith turned aside.
The Stars then got the equalizer on Burish’s second goal of the season with just 1:01 remaining. Having been moved up to the top line earlier in the third period, Burish was parked in front when Ribeiro collected the puck behind the Phoenix net and slid a backhand pass through the crease to him, where Burish chipped it off Smith’s arm and just over the goal line.
“It’s exciting, it gives us some energy. I’ve played with those two before and I think I understand how to play with them, I understand what Ribby needs and where to go,” Burish said. “You’ve just got to go to the net, work to get him pucks and just get open, keep your stick down and he’s a magician with it. So I just went there and the puck got through.”
“They’re such a shut-down team, and the time was ticking down, I thought it was maybe time to put Rydes with Fiddler and see if there was something there and put Bur up with those other two and see if we can cause a little chemistry,” Gulutzan said, explaining his thought process behind the line juggling. “Bur happened to be there and got the goal and it worked out perfect.”
Dallas then almost ended it in regulation, when Eriksson, on the rush into the Coyotes’ zone, drilled a slap shot from the slot that barely went high over the crossbar with 12 seconds on the clock.
Neither team generated a significant opportunity during the five-minute overtime, setting the stage for the shootout.
“It’s a process to win and you have to work to put yourself in position to have some sort of success or to get a desired result,” said Gulutzan. “As long as we’re in striking distance at the end of the game, you’re going to get points like tonight. At the end of the game, games are 60 minutes for a reason, you have to play all 60 and tonight I thought we did that.”
The Coyotes struck first, as Raffi Torres opened the scoring at 7:18 of the opening period on a somewhat innocuous play. Torres collected the puck in the right corner, stepped out a couple of feet above the goal line and fired a sharp-angle shot on net that squeezed through Lehtonen and in on one the Finnish netminder would clearly love to have back.
After that, the Stars began to pick up the pace and a big hit by Morrow that turned over the puck led to some sustained pressure in the Phoenix zone. During a mad scramble in front on a delayed penalty call at 10:14, with Lehtonen out for an extra attacker, the Stars came oh-so-close to scoring. With both Smith and Coyote defender Rostislav Klesla down in the crease, Daley fired a quick wrist shot in front over them, but it clanked off the crossbar.
“It’s too bad it hit the crossbar, I would have loved to bury one there,” said Daley of the play.
Later during the ensuing power play, Smith made an outstanding save at 11:54, sliding across the crease to deny Ryder’s one-timer from the left circle.
The Stars finally broke through on their fifth shot of the man-advantage, coming with just one second left in the power play, when Souray unleashed a rocket of a slap shot from just above the left face-off circle, beating a semi-screened Smith over the shoulder at 12:22 to even it up at 1-1.
“I know what I’m out there for,” Souray said. “I’m comfortable shooting the puck and if we have traffic in front like there was, then I’m going to shoot it.”
Then, with 2:23 left in the period, Ribeiro had an opportunity on a partial breakaway, letting a high wrist shot go from the right circle that Smith managed to get his shoulder on.
Overall, Dallas outshot the Coyotes 15-11 in the period, the highest shot total in a single period by the Stars so far this season.
The Stars dodged a bullet at 9:18 of the second period when David Schlemko led a Coyotes rush into the Dallas end before pulling up in the right face-off circle. Lehtonen wound up out of position as he moved out to prepare for a shot when Schlemko fed a pass in front to Doan. Staring at an open net, Doan was unable to get a shot off because Adam Pardy went down to block two attempts before Ribeiro chased Doan and the puck behind the net.
About 20 seconds later on the same sequence, Lehtonen made a tough save on Keith Yandle’s high wrist shot from the top of the right circle.
Dallas had its best chance of the period with 5:31 left when Jamie Benn carried the puck into the right circle before sliding a slick cross-ice pass to Steve Ott in the left circle for a one-timer that Smith made a nice save on.
The Coyotes had another prime chance with 1:44 remaining in the second when Whitney sped into the Stars’ zone on a breakaway. With Pardy closing in on him, Whitney reached the left face-off circle and lifted a backhander off the post and out of play.
After completing their four-game road trip with a stellar 3-1-0 mark, the Stars return home on Thursday to face Los Angeles at the American Airlines Center (7:30 pm start, FSSW). After putting forth one of their most complete performances of the season in a 1-0 loss to the Kings on Saturday, the Stars feel they have some unfinished business to take care of.
“Going into it, we said we want to put back-to-back games together and I think for the most part, we put three pretty good games together,” Burish said of the road trip. “To get points the way we did, it’s good, it’s a confident group right now.”
- In addition to his shootout heroics, Daley also led the squad in ice time, logging 25:50 on the evening.
- Ryder also scored during the shootout, connecting in the fifth round, immediately after Patrick O’Sullivan found the back of the net for Phoenix, in order to extend the shootout. Ryder is now 6-for-29 overall in his career in the tie-breaker competition.
- Souray’s goal was his second of the season and the 98th of his career.
- After having his six-game point streak snapped in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Los Angeles, Ott started another one with a first period assist on Souray’s goal.
- Benn also picked up an assist on Souray’s goal, giving him six points (one goal, five assists) in his last five contests.
- Eriksson topped the Stars with five shots on goal.
- Defenseman Nicklas Grossman led the Stars with four hits and five blocked shots.
- Former Coyote Vernon Fiddler returned to Phoenix, where he played the two previous seasons, for the first time since signing as a free agent with Dallas in July.
- The Stars won the game-within-the-game battle of the face-off circle, going 36-23 on draws in the game. Burish went 7-2 while Ott also had a good night, going 14-9.
- This contest marked the sixth straight one-goal game between the Stars and Coyotes, with Dallas posting a 3-2-1 mark in those outings.
1 - 0 PHX
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 PHX