Saturday, March 9, 2013
Phoenix Coyotes 2, Dallas Stars 1
Stars lose their thankfully-last game of the year against the blockaholic Coyotes.
The Dallas Stars just couldn't get their shots through Saturday night in Phoenix, losing 2-1 to the Coyotes in their fourth and final matchup of the year. The two teams will thankfully be in different divisions next season. The loss snapped a two-game win streak for Dallas and knocked them down to 12-10-2 on the season. The Coyotes improved to 12-10-3.
The Stars were unable to overcome Phoenix' mammoth shot blocking, as the Coyotes blocked 29 shots and allowed just 21 to find their way to netminder Mike Smith. The blocked shots were especially noticeable in the third period, when the Stars spent the majority of the time in the Coyotes zone but were unable to get clean shots off.
Phoenix opened the scoring at 16:59 of the first, when Antoine Vermette's shot deflected off Coyotes captain Shane Doan and in for Doan's 8th of the year to make it 1-0.
The Coyotes got all the offense they would need at 7:31 of the second when Rob Klinkhammer took advantage of a terrible defensive miscue from Stars rookie Matt Fraser and scored the first goal of his NHL career to make it 2-0. Dallas struck back on an extended 5-on-3 late through the period when Loui Eriksson got a pass to Jaromir Jagr, who wristed his team-leading 10th goal at 18:19 to bring the Stars to within one.
Unfortunately for Dallas, that was as close as they got, as the Coyotes shotblockers prevented another extended 5-on-3 late in the third from turning into the tying goal. Jamie Benn was also taken off the ice with minutes left, after a late, unpenalized hit from Martin Hanzal. Benn was helped to the dressing room and appeared wobbly after the hit.
Kari Lehtonen was good in net despite the lack of goal support, stopping 19 of 21 shots in just his fourth loss of the season. Smith made 20 saves on 21 shots to improve to 10-7-2.
Dallas' next game is Tuesday night at the AAC, where they will face the 10-9-5 Nashville Predators.