Saturday, February 2, 2013
Phoenix Coyotes 2, Dallas Stars 0
Stars' bush-league forward group fails the team once again.
The Dallas Stars predictably lost yet another second game of a back-to-back Saturday night in Phoenix, going down 2-0 to the Coyotes in another unwatchable beatdown. The loss was their fifth in their last six games and dropped Dallas to 3-5-1 on the season and 1-14-3 in the second game of back-to-backs over the last two seasons. Phoenix improved to 3-4-2.
Missing another top-six forward, Ray Whitney, due to injury, the Dallas forwards never once meshed and only rarely threatened to put shots on net. Jamie Benn played better than any other Dallas forward with five shots on net, while his linemate Jaromir Jagr had four. The rest of the Stars forwards combined for a total of four shots on net, all coming from the fourth line.
Following a scoreless first period, Phoenix broke the 0-0 tie at 11:57 of the second when Nick Johnson skated through the middle and rifled a shot past Stars backup Richard Bachman for his third goal of the year and a 1-0 lead. The Stars spent nearly the entire second period in their own zone, as they continually took penalty after penalty while mounting zero attack in the offensive zone, putting up just one shot for the first 18 minutes of the middle frame.
Phoenix finally made them pay on the powerplay at 2:47 of the third when Mikkel Boedker scored on a rebound near the crease to make it 2-0. Dallas killed six of seven penalties on the night, all but two of which were on Dallas forwards. The Stars received only one truncated powerplay on the evening, which they did not score on. Other than one sequence where Benn whiffed on a Jagr reboudn, the Stars never seriously threatened to score after that.
Bachman was good in net, stopping 32 of the 34 shots he faced in the loss. Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith earned the easiest shutout of his career, stopping 17 mostly harmless shots for his first win of the season.
Dallas next heads to Colorado, where they will face the 4-4-0 Avalanche Monday night.