Friday, February 1, 2013
Dallas Stars 4, Phoenix Coyotes 3 (SO)
Dallas finally breaks their losing streak with shootout win.
DALLAS The Dallas Stars finally snapped their four-game losing streak Friday night at the American Airlines Center, defeating the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 in the shootout. The win improved Dallas to 3-4-1 on the season, while dropping Phoenix to 2-4-2. The two teams will play the second game of a back-to-back tomorrow night in Phoenix.
Dallas benefited from the NHL debuts of Antoine Roussel and Jamie Oleksiak, call ups from the AHL who made an immediate impact. Roussel broke a scoreless tie midway through the first period when he took a pass from Ryan Garbutt, got behind the Coyotes defense and backhanded his first NHL goal from close for the 1-0 lead. Two minutes later, fellow rookie Brenden Dillon launched a shot from the point that escaped Phoenix netminder Mike Smith for Dillon's first NHL goal and a 2-0 lead.
Two minutes later at the 14:00 mark Stars killer Radim Vrbata struck, scoring his third of the season --all three of which have come against the Stars-- to make it 2-1. The Coyotes then tied it in the first minute of the second period when fellow Stars killer Martin Hanzal scored just as a holding penalty to Jordie Benn expired, making it a 2-2 hockey game.
Dallas took the lead again at 14:14 of the second when Cody Eakin dished a pass to Michael Ryder above the circle, who rifled it in for his fourth goal of the year and a 3-2 lead. Four minutes later, Hanzal scored his second of the night through Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen's pads for the 3-3 tie.
After neither team scored in a slow-paced third period and a lightning-paced overtime, the game went to a shootout. Vrbata naturally scored to put the Coyotes in the driver's seat, but, down to their last chance to keep the shootout alive, Jamie Benn skated wide then wristed one past Smith for the 1-1 shootout tie. After Lehtonen stoned Oliver Ekman-Larsson on the next attempt, new Stars addition Jaromir Jagr took a shot that Smith couldn't get a clean handle on for the game-clinching shootout goal. Jagr also provided the heroics the last time these two teams met, scoring twice and adding two assists in a 4-3 Dallas home opener victory.
Lehtonen had a solid game, stopping 31 of 34 shots to improve to 3-2-1 on the season. Smith, a former Stars backup goalie, made 21 saves on 24 shots en route to falling to 0-2-1 on the year.
Roussel had an excellent game centering the fourth line, scoring once, delivering some excellent hits and winning six of seven faceoffs in limited time. Oleksiak's debut was more muted, playing 15:32 with one shot and one block on the night. Dillon, who had the secondary assist on the Roussel goal, finished with a Gordie Howe hat trick: one goal, one assist and one fight.