The Dallas Stars are coming off a lackluster performance. A matchup in Phoenix gives them a chance to bounce back quickly.
After one of their lowest-scoring games of the season, the Stars look to extend a five-game winning streak in Phoenix when they face the Coyotes on Saturday night.
Dallas (4-3-2) went 0-for-4 on the power play in a 2-1 loss to Los Angeles on Thursday night, falling to the Kings for the first time in 10 games. The Stars matched their season low with one goal.
Now, Dallas will face a Phoenix (3-5-0) team it has beaten five straight times on the road since a 6-2 loss on March 2, 2006. The Stars went 7-1-0 overall against the Coyotes last season, and are 7-1-0 in Phoenix since a 3-2 loss on Feb. 14, 2004.
Dallas, though, will need to get its offense back on track. The Stars struggled against the Kings after scoring three goals in each of their previous two games.
Dallas has been outscored 15-8 on the road, where it is 1-3-1.
Stars defensemen have done little to help on the offensive end, accounting for just one goal in nine games after scoring 43 times last season, including a career-high 19 by Philippe Boucher.
Boucher, however, is tied with Mike Ribeiro for the team lead with five assists. He had two goals and four assists in six games against Phoenix in 2006-07.
Ribeiro is part of a newly formed line that includes Jere Lehtinen and Brenden Morrow. The trio recorded eight shots against the Kings, and Lehtinen scored the team's only goal.
They were unable to convert on the power play, however, and Dallas is 1-for-10 with the man advantage in its last three games.
"There were too many sloppy plays from us," Stars defenseman Mattias Norstrom said after Thursday's game. "If we clean that up, we'll be just fine."
Phoenix earned its first shutout of the season, with Alex Auld stopping 31 shots to lead the Coyotes to a 1-0 win over Anaheim on Thursday night. It was Phoenix's first win in 11 games in Anaheim dating to Nov. 12, 2003.
Auld, who signed as a free in August, is 2-2-0 with a 2.26 goals-against average. He has lost his last three starts against the Stars, though, posting a 3.08 GAA.
Rookie Craig Weller scored his first NHL goal Thursday as the Coyotes snapped a three-game losing streak.
Weller, who also signed as a free agent over the summer, played at Hartford of the AHL for the past four seasons and was the team captain last year. Weller has one goal and two assists in seven games, and Phoenix is 3-0-0 when he records a point.
Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek made his season debut Thursday. He was expected to miss six weeks after breaking his hand in practice before the Oct. 4 opener against St. Louis, but a vigorous rehabilitation program helped him get back on the ice.
Phoenix gave up three goals or more in six straight games before Thursday's shutout.
|Apr 04 '08||PHX 4 at DAL 2||M. Hanzal|
|Apr 03 '08||DAL 4 at PHX 2||B. Morrow|
|Mar 05 '08||PHX 2 at DAL 1||S. Doan|
|Feb 14 '08||DAL 2 at PHX 5||N. Kapanen|
|Feb 11 '08||PHX 1 at DAL 2||M. Modano|
|Nov 08 '07||DAL 2 at PHX 5||E. Jovanovski|
|Nov 02 '07||PHX 5 at DAL 0||N. Kapanen|
|Oct 27 '07||DAL 5 at PHX 3||N. Hagman|