Not many teams enjoy playing away from home. Few, though, have had the success the Dallas Stars have enjoyed on the road.
The Stars try to match the best eight-game start in franchise history when they visit Glendale Arena on Saturday night to play the Phoenix Coyotes.
Dallas (6-1-0) has played five of its first seven games away from home, winning the first four before losing 2-0 Tuesday at San Jose. A win in this contest would match the 1996-97 team for the best start after eight games.
Dallas' 25 road wins last season were second-most in the Western Conference, behind only Detroit's 31.
Goaltender Marty Turco, who is 7-5-1 with a 2.71 goals-against average lifetime against the Coyotes, has been a primary reason for Dallas' fast start. He is tied with Buffalo's Ryan Miller for the league lead with six wins, and has a 1.98 GAA overall. His road GAA this season is even better at 1.77.
Turco, though, was bailed out by his teammates in Dallas' 5-4 home win Friday over Chicago. He allowed three goals in the first two periods, but the Stars rallied for four third-period goals - giving them 13 wins and a tie in their last 14 games against the Blackhawks.
Philippe Boucher scored the game-winning goal with 40 seconds to play.
"It was a weird game, a roller-coaster for everybody in the building," said Boucher, whose goal was his first of the season. "In the new NHL, it's never over and we kept pushing."
The Coyotes (2-5-0) were undone by their special teams in a 4-0 loss Thursday to the Los Angeles Kings. Phoenix went 0-for-5 on the power play and allowed all four goals - three in the first period - trying to kill off 12 penalties totaling 57 minutes.
"What's disappointing is when you come off a trip and the first period is so vital, and you've just got to stay out of the penalty box," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "I was telling the players after the game, obviously this a low point."
Backup goalie Mike Morrison allowed three goals on 13 shots before Gretzky replaced him with Curtis Joseph to start the second period. Joseph is 18-24-7 with a 3.22 GAA lifetime against the Stars, and the 24 losses are his most against any opponent.
While the defense is allowing more than 4 goals per game, Ladislav Nagy's slow start has been a reason the offense is averaging only 2.3 goals. The left wing had two goals and three points in a season-opening win, but his other two points in the last six games came in Phoenix's other win.
Nagy was the team's assist leader with 41 despite being sidelined the final 29 games last season after injuring his right knee Jan. 23 against Dallas. While Nagy has just four goals in 22 lifetime games against the Stars, three are game-winners, and he also has 14 assists.
Phoenix went 3-4-1 against its Pacific Division rival last season and has five wins in its last 15 home games against Dallas.
|Mar 27 '07||PHX 0 at DAL 6||M. Ribeiro|
|Mar 24 '07||DAL 4 at PHX 3 - SO||J. Lehtinen|
|Mar 18 '07||PHX 4 at DAL 5 - OT||M. Ribeiro|
|Jan 09 '07||PHX 5 at DAL 2||S. Doan|
|Dec 09 '06||DAL 4 at PHX 3 - OT||J. Lehtinen|
|Dec 06 '06||PHX 0 at DAL 3||S. Zubov|
|Nov 09 '06||DAL 1 at PHX 0||B. Morrow|
|Oct 21 '06||DAL 4 at PHX 0||M. Ribeiro|