Photo Credit: Norm Hall
COYOTES STARTING LINE-UP
(LW) Jeff Taffe - (C) Niko Kapanen - (RW) Shane Doan
(D) Keith Ballard - (D) Derek Morris
STARS STARTING LINE-UP
(LW) Ladislav Nagy - (C) Mike Modano - (RW) Antti Miettinen
(D) Sergei Zubov - (D) Darryl Sydor
Phoenix - Curtis Joseph
Dallas - Marty Turco
On Saturday night, the Phoenix Coyotes took the Dallas Stars to seven rounds in a shootout, before falling to their Pacific Division rivals by the score of 4-3.
In the first two minutes of action, both teams tried to grab the first lead of the game by stuffing the puck into the goal from close range. But Phoenix's Curtis Joseph and Dallas netminder Marty Turco survived the early pressure without putting their respective clubs in an early deficit.
The Coyotes would get the first man-advantage of the night when Stars' forward Stu Barnes was sent to the x for hooking at 2:47 of the opening period. Phoenix rookie Daniel Carcillo made certain that the power play would not go to waster as he took a brilliant pass from Steven Reinprecht at the right side of the net and fired the puck through the legs of Turco at 4:28 of the first, for a 1-0 lead. Coyotes' defenseman Keith Ballard recorded the secondary assist on Carcillo's third goal of the season.
Dallas would have an opportunity to even the score minutes later when Phoenix center Mike Zigomanis was called for hooking at 8:35 of the period. On the Stars' ensuing power play, they did a good job of bringing the puck into the offensive zone, but struggled to mount a serious attack at the Coyotes' net.
The best scoring opportunity during the infraction to Zigomanis came from the Coyotes themselves as Nolan crashed the net and made a great tip on a long pas from captain Shane Doan. However, Turco was able to get in front of the shot and keep the Phoenix lead to one as the Coyotes returned to full strength.
The trend of alternating penalties continued at 11:42 of the first as Dallas' Krys Barch received a two-minute minor for roughing. This time, the Stars' penalty killing unit was able to pressure the Coyotes offense and keep them from setting up for extended periods of time in the Dallas zone. The result was a series of rushed shots broken passes until play returned to five skaters aside.
During the final minute of the period, the clubs traded shots of goal, but without making a mark on the scoreboard as the first 20-minutes of play ended with the Coyotes holding a 1-0 lead.
At 2:14 of the second, the Coyotes offense struck again when Nick Boynton forced a turnover in the neutral zone, allowing Matt Jones to make a long pass to Mathias Tjarnqvist as he broke towards the Dallas net. Trying to knock the puck off Tjarnqvist's stick, Turco dove at the Phoenix forward, only to find himself missing the poke-check and allowing Tjarqvist to easily slide the puck into the empty net for a 2-0 Coyotes lead.
Following the goal by Tjarnqvist, Phoenix tried to burry the Stars with a third goal as they flooded the Dallas net with shots. When the Coyotes weren't putting puck on net, they were cycling the puck around the offensive zone or breaking up the Stars' clearing attempts. Eventually the Stars would clear the zone and force Phoenix to regroup in their own end.
The Coyotes (1) and Stars (2) combined for three penalties in a span of 29-seconds, midway through the period. The end result was over a minute of four-on-three action for Phoenix and while they were unable to translate their pressure into a third goal, they did force the Dallas defense to spend time and effort trying to get the puck out of their own zone, rather than mounting an offensive attack of their own.
At 17:33 of the second, the Coyotes took a three-goal lead when Mike Zigomanis snapped a wrist shot from the top of the right face-off circle that beat Turco for his 13th tally of the season. Coyotes' Kevyn Adams and Derek Morris, received assists on Zigomanis' second period goal.
Dallas would get a chance to climb back into the game later in the period when Coyotes' defenseman Brendan Bell was called for hooking at 18:26. The Stars would spend the remainder of the stanza on the man-advantage, but continued to be unable to convert the extra attacker into a mark on the scoreboard and the second period came to a close with Phoenix leading by the score of 3-0.
Just 36-seconds into the third period, Dallas cut the Coyotes lead to 3-1 when Brendan Morrow took a feed at the left side of the net and flipped the puck past Joseph for his 12th goal of the season.
At 4:14 of the third, Phoenix made their fourth trip to the penalty box when Niko Kapanen was whistled for tripping. The penalty would prove costly for the Coyotes as the Stars crashed the Phoenix net and with just eight seconds left on the power play, managed to have Antti Miettinen shovel a loose puck in the crease past a fallen Joseph to make it a 3-2 game. Miettinens goal was briefly reviewed by the off-ice officials to make sure it hadn't been kicked into the net, and eventually determined it had gone in off the stick and not his skate.
With just under nine minutes to play in the third, Dallas' Marty Turco made a series of un-real saves, including knocking the puck out of mid-air while on his back in the crease. Turco's efforts kept the Stars within striking distance as the period continued.
At 13:45 of the third, the Stars tied the score at 3-3 when Morrow sent a pass from the right hand boards to Loui Eriksson at the top of the crease, allowing Eriksson to deflect the puck into the Phoenix net.
The final minutes of regulation would trickle off the clock with neither team being able to score the game-winner and the contest headed into overtime.
In the extra session, the Stars came out flying, trying desperately to grab the extra point. Over the course of the overtime period, Dallas out-shot Phoenix 4-to-1, but Joseph's stellar play kept the Stars from scoring and sent the game into a shootout.
It would take seven round before the only goal of the shootout was scored. Unfortunately it came off te stick of Dallas' Jere Lehtinen as the Coyotes fell to the Stars by the final score of 4-3.
Dallas - Sergei Zubov (No goal)
Phoenix - Niko Kapanen (No goal)
Dallas - Jussi Jokinen (No goal)
Phoenix - Kevyn Adams (No goal)
Dallas - Mike Ribeiro (No goal)
Phoenix - Shane Doan (No goal)
Dallas - Mike Modano (No goal)
Phoenix - Daniel Carcillo (No goal)
Dallas - Ladislav Nagy (No goal)
Phoenix - Steven Reinprecht (No goal)
Dallas - Antti Miettinen (No goal)
Phoenix - Jeff Taffe (No goal)
Dallas - Jere Lehtinen (Goal)
Phoenix - Mike Zigomanis (No goal)