(Photos Courtesy of Tim Heitman)
On Tuesday night, the Phoenix Coyotes dropped a 3-2 game at the hands of their Pacific Division rivals, the Dallas Stars.
In the first period, the Coyotes faced an almost constant attack from the Stars as Dallas generated 11 shots in the opening 20 minutes of play.
Rookie goaltender David LeNeveu, making his second start of the 2005-06 season in place of injured goaltender Curtis Joseph, was able to keep the Coyotes in the game as he stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced. The lone goal in the first period came off the stick of Dallas' Antii Miettinen. During a stretch of four-on-four play, Miettinen took advantage of the extra room, skated in to the bottom of the left face-off circle and sent a wrist shot over the shoulder of LeNeveu and into the Coyotes goal. Initially, one on-ice official waived the goal off thinking the puck had hit the cross bar, but upon further review it was clear the puck had entered the net and the Stars took a 1-0 lead.
In the second period, the Coyotes fought back and tied the contest at 1-1 when a shot from the point by Denis Gauthier found its way past Dallas netminder Marty Turco for the goal. The tally was Gauthier's first of the season and was assisted by Fredrik Sjostrom and Krystofer Kolanos.
Late in the period, the Stars would re-take the lead when Mike Modano, working behind the Coyotes net, found an open Jussi Jokinen in front with a pass and Jokinen buried the shot to make it a 2-1 lead after two periods of play.
Mid-way through the third period, the Stars would add to their lead as Modano and Brendan Morrow, took a Coyotes turnover and created a two-man breakaway against LeNeveu. After a series of passes back and forth, Modano roofed the puck over an outstretched LeNeveu for a 3-1 lead.
Phoenix refused to give in to the Stars and they cut the Dallas lead to 3-2 with 12.3 seconds left in the game on a slap shot from defenseman Paul Mara that went under the arm of Turco and into the net. But time would run out before the Coyotes could put together another offensive attack and the Stars skated off with a 3-2 victory.
Coyotes forward Krystofer Kolanos recorded two assists in Tuesday's contest. He was credited with the primary assist on Mara's goal and the secondary assist on Gauthier's. Kolanos has now recoded three points this season (1 goal, 2 assists) and is tied for the team lead with forward Oleg Saprykin (2 goals, 1 assist).
WELCOME TO THE COYOTES
Forward Geoff Sanderson, who was acquired by Phoenix last Saturday, recorded his first point as a member of the Coyotes in Tuesday's contest. Sanderson's assist on Mara's goal was his first point of the season.
Although he made the trip to Dallas, Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris did not play in Tuesday night's game. Morris who is recovering from a minor groin strain suffered on opening night in Vancouver could be ready for Thursday's game when Phoenix hosts the Nashville Predators. Morris is still listed as day-to-day.
The Coyotes will return home on Tuesday night and practice Wednesday at Glendale Arena before playing host to the Nashville Predators on Thursday. Thursday's game can be seen on FSN Arizona and can be heard on KDUS-1060AM as well as KDKB-93.3FM.
As an added bonus, all fans in attendance for Thursday night's game will receive a Phoenix Coyotes 2005-06 Magnetic Schedule courtesy of Qwest.