GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The game was circled as a possible winner-take-all showdown in the fight for the final Western Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
But the Dallas Stars punched their postseason ticket Friday night with a win against the St. Louis Blues and the Phoenix Coyotes have nothing to play for in their season finale Sunday but pride.
The Coyotes lost their seventh straight game Saturday, 3-2 to the playoff-bound San Jose Sharks. Phoenix was five points ahead of the Stars with eight games to play before scoring nine goals in a 0-4-3 tailspin that will leave them out of the postseason for a second straight year.
The Stars will face the Anaheim Ducks in the first round. They will be without Jamie Benn, Ray Whitney, Trevor Daley and Brenden Dillon against the Coyotes. Goalie Tim Thomas will start.
Phoenix goalie Mark Visentin made his NHL debut Saturday. He allowed a pair of goals to San Jose's Joe Pavelski in the first 9:56, but settled down to make 29 saves against the Sharks. The Coyotes planned to play goalie Thomas Greiss against the Stars, but coach Dave Tippett said Saturday night that he could go back to Visentin a second time.
Center Martin Hanzal will not play for Phoenix. Veteran defensemen Zbynek Michalek and Derek Morris will also sit.
Here is how the Coyotes and Stars lineups should look on Sunday:
Shawn Horcoff – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Erik Cole – Vernon Fiddler – Alex Chiasson
Chris Mueller – Dustin Jeffrey – Colton Sceviour
Jordie Benn – Alex Goligoski
Aaron Rome – Sergei Gonchar
Patrik Nemeth – Kevin Connauton
Scratched: Jamie Benn, Brenden Dillon, Trevor Daley
Injured: Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat), Ray Whitney (lower body)
Lauri Korpikoski –Antoine Vermette – Mikkel Boedker
Martin Erat – Mike Ribeiro – Radim Vrbata
Brandon McMillan – Kyle Chipchura – Shane Doan
Paul Bissonnette – Jeff Halpern – David Moss
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Connor Murphy
Keith Yandle – Michael Stone
Brandon Gormley – Chris Summers
Scratched: Zbynek Michalek, Rob Klinkhammer, Derek Morris
Injured: Mike Smith (lower body), Martin Hanzal (lower body), David Schlemko (lower body)