Photo Credit: Norm Hall
Phoenix - Curtis Joseph
Dallas - Dan Ellis
WEDNESDAY'S LINE UP
(LW) Mike Comrie - (C) Jeremy Roenick - (RW) Shane Doan
(LW) Ladislav Nagy - (C) Steven Reinprecht - (RW) Owen Nolan
(LW) Patrick Fischer - (C) Dave Scatchard - (RW) Georges Laraque
(LW) Enver Lisin - (C) Mike Zigomanis - (RW) Bill Thomas
Ed Jovanovski - Keith Yandle
Keith Ballard - Nick Boynton
Matt Jones - Matthew Spiller
On Wednesday night, the Phoenix Coyotes recorded their first pre-season victory of the season with a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars.
It took the Phoenix Coyotes just one minute and twenty-eight seconds to get on the scoreboard in their 2006 preseason home-opener against the Dallas Stars Wednesday night. The play developed when Steven Reinprecht feathered a pass across the red-line to Owen Nolan who maneuvered his way around a Star defenseman before lifting the puck over Dallas netminder Dan Ellis' outstretched glove to give Nolan his first goal as a Coyote and Phoenix an early 1-0 lead.
Just minutes later, the Coyotes continued their offensive attack when Ladislav Nagy nearly put Phoenix up by two when he shot the puck just wide of the right side of the net.
Undeterred, Phoenix continued their offensive pressure in the Stars zone, eventually forcing newly acquired Dallas forward Eric Lindross to take a tripping penalty at 5:38.
Led by sophomore standout Keith Ballard, the Coyotes kept the play in the offensive zone, pressuring the Stars and nearly tickling the twine on two separate occasions.
Following the Coyotes power play Dallas drew a hooking penalty on Matthew Spiller at 9:08, forcing Phoenix on to the penalty-kill. With the man-advantage Dallas was unable to register a single shot on goal and were denied any scoring opportunities by a stringent Coyotes penalty kill.
The fans in Glendale would get a second chance to see the Coyotes penalty kill when Spiller went to the penalty for the second time of the period at 12:28 after being called for holding.
Moments into the man-advantage Stars forward Jussi Jokinen broke free on a partial break-away only to have Coyotes goaltender Curtis Joseph, quickly snatch the puck with a glove save. Shortly after, Dallas would register two more shots, including a Jokinen rebound on the far side that Joseph turned away to remain perfect for the period.
The Coyotes penalty-killing unit had a short rest as Keith Ballard was called for interference at 15:43. Phoenix was able to kill the penalty for the third consecutive time, but Dallas would break Joseph's shutout at 18:38 of the first when Jeff Halpern slid the puck behind the net to a waiting Brendan Morrow who quickly slid the puck in front to Lindross who beat Joesph through the five-hole to tie the game.
The Coyotes would get a chance to retake the lead when Stars center Mike Green drew two minutes for hooking with 52-seconds remaining.
Unable to capitalize as time expired, Phoenix will begin the second period tied at one with a 1:08 man-advantage.
Starting the period with the man-advantage and tied 1-1, the Coyotes were unable to convert on their second power play of the game as Nagy registered the only shot on the man-advantage.
Following the power-play, newly acquired forward Georges Laraque dropped the gloves in the right defensive corner with Stars winger Kip Brennan. Though both fighters hesitated to exchange punches, Laraques engaged Brennan and fed Brennan several powering left-handed blows, sending him to the ice and both fighters to the box.
Moments later, the Coyotes would build off of Laraque's victory when Steven Reinprecht saucered a pass over a Stars defenseman's stick to Owen Nolan who then lifted the puck over Ellis' glove and into the net for his second goal of the game, which gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead at 4:10 of the second period.
After continuing to pepper Ellis with four more shots Nagy was sent to the box with a double minor for cross-checking and slashing at 7:45.
On the ensuing power play, Dallas held the puck in the offensive zone forcing Joseph to make several key stops including a spectacular glove-save on the near side before the Coyotes were able to clear the puck.
With 46-seconds remaining in the Nagy double-minor, Matthew Spiller was called for interference at 10:59, forcing Joseph to, once again, come up big for the Coyotes as the veteran goalie made a series of key saves in helping Phoenix kill the Spiller penalty.
Following the penalty, Dallas made a goaltending change substituting Dan Ellis in favor of Mike Smith
The Coyotes had an opportunity to rest their penalty-killing unit and let their power play get on the ice when the Stars' Brennan was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking Ed Jovanovski at 14:20 of the period.
The ensuing power play saw the Coyotes test Smith twice, with Mike Comrie nearly beating him on a point blank shot from the high slot.
Though Phoenix was unable to capitalize with the man-advantage, the Coyotes enter the second intermission with a 2-1 lead and 20 minutes away from their first victory of the season.
The Coyotes began the third period with a goaltender change as Curtis Joseph Joesph, who made 19 saves on 20 shots, was replaced by back-up David LeNeveu.
With LeNeveu between the pipes, and a 2-1 lead, Phoenix got a chance to add some insurance when Jeff Halpern was called for holding 21 seconds into the period.
Though the Coyotes were unable to capitalize on the opportunity they would get another chance two minutes later when Phillipe Boucher was sent to the box for hooking.
The powere play, however, was shirt-lived as Ed Jovanovski was called for hooking at 4:24 resulting on 4-4 play.
After killing the Jovanovski penalty Phoenix was unable to stay out of the penalty box as Nick Boynton drew a slashing call at 7:00.
Despite boasting a flawless penalty kill in the game, the Stars were able to beat LeNeveu when Jaroslav Modry wired a wrist shot just under the crossbar to tie the game at two with just under 12 minutes remaining.
However, the Coyotes would quickly counter the Modry goal shortly after when Mike Zigomanis picked up the puck in the near slot and snapped it passed Mike Smith two give the Coyotes their third lead of the game and Zigomanis his first goal of the pre-season.
Up 3-2 with seven minutes remaining Phoenix had the opportunity to get the elusive insurance goal when Philippe Boucher went to the penalty box for holding and an additional two for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The power play, however, was short lived when Ballard was called for roughing at 14:03.
After killing the penalty Phoenix found itself short-handed yet again at 17:38 when Mike Comrie went to the sin-bin for hooking.
Having their impressive penalty-killing unit deny the visiting Stars one final time, Phoenix held on to a 3-2 lead and captured their first win of the preseason giving the 10,000 fans in attendance a victory to start the season in Glendale.