After using a dramatic rally to earn another win, the Dallas Stars hope to pick up two more points against the Phoenix Coyotes when the teams play the finale of a home-and-home series Tuesday at the American Airlines Center.
The Stars need to take advantage of playing the lowly Coyotes, because following Tuesday's contest, Dallas visits Detroit and Nashville, two of the West's best teams. After that, the Stars close out the regular season with three of their last four at home.
Dallas (45-24-6) didn't have an easy time against woeful Phoenix on Saturday, needing to rally from a three-goal, third-period deficit before winning in the seventh round of the shootout for a 4-3 victory.
"All in all it ends up being two points for a while it didn't look like we were going to get," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "That was a fortunate two points right there. Very fortunate. Usually you have to pay a price to win and we didn't pay much of a price the first couple periods to get the job done."
The Stars also beat Phoenix 5-4 in overtime March 18 and have won six of the seven meetings this season. The Coyotes (29-41-5) are last in the Pacific Division with 63 points, tying them with Chicago for the lowest total in the Western Conference.
For two periods Saturday, though, Phoenix was on its way to another upset win after beating Pacific Division-leading Anaheim 2-1 on Thursday.
Brenden Morrow scored 36 seconds into the third period to spark the rally, however, and the Stars picked up their seventh win in nine games when Jere Lehtinen scored in the shootout.
"It wasn't a great feeling for two periods, feeling stymied and almost useless," Stars goalie Marty Turco said. "But at this time of year there's no quit and that's a great sign for us going down the stretch. We'll take those much-needed two points."
Dallas has 96 points, tying it with San Jose for the sixth spot in the conference, though the Stars have a game in hand. Both teams trail Minnesota by one point for fifth.
The Stars have been nearly unbeatable at home over the last two months, going 12-2-2 at the American Airlines Center since Jan. 15.
Phoenix nearly had consecutive victories for the first time since winning the two games right before and after the All-Star break, but let Dallas back into Saturday's contest after dominating the first 40 minutes.
"I thought we played a really great hockey game but we made two fundamental mistakes," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "We had some mental breakdowns but I thought the guys played really hard throughout."
It was the fourth straight one-goal game for the Coyotes, who are 1-1-2 in that span. They've earned a point in four consecutive games against the Stars despite going 1-0-3 in those contests.
"They grind out a lot of games," Coyotes center Mike Zigomanis said of the Stars. "That first goal put them back in it."
Phoenix has lost nine of its past 10 road games and 17 of its last 21 contests overall.
|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|