(Photos courtesy of Barry Gossage)
On Saturday night, the Phoenix Coyotes dropped a 5-3 decision to division rivals, the Dallas Stars at Glendale Arena.
Phoenix jumped out to an early lead in the first period when captain Shane Doan blasted a one timer from the left face-off circle, over the glove hand of Stars goaltender Johan Hedberg for the 1-0 lead at 3:22 of the period. Coyotes Geoff Sanderson and Petr Nedved assisted on Doan's goal.
The Coyotes would increase their lead to 2-0 when Mike Ricci stuffed an uncovered puck in the crease, past Hedberg midway through the first period. Sanderson and Doan were both credited with assists on Ricci's second goal of the season.
As the first period was about to come to an end, the Stars found the back of the net for the first time on a goal by Dallas forward Stu Barnes.
In the second period, Phoenix extended their lead to 3-1 when Fredrik Sjostrom's shot from the top of the slot beat Hedberg high to the glove side. Sjostrom's goal was his first of the season and was assisted by line mates Tyson Nash and Mike Ricci.
Following the goal by Sjostrom, the Dallas Stars began to turn the tables on the Coyotes as Dallas increased their lead in shots on goal and eventually cut the lead to one on a power play goal by perennial All-Star Mike Modano mid-way through the second period.
In the third period, the Stars went right after the Coyotes as Dallas defenseman Sergei Zubov's wrist shot from the top of the slot, just 58 seconds into the period, found a hole between Phoenix goaltender Curtis Joseph's legs to tie the game at 3-3.
Then at 10:09 of the third period, Dallas took their first lead of the game when Niko Kapanen intercepted a pass deep in the Phoenix zone and quickly sent a wrist shot over the glove of Joseph to give the Stars a 4-3 lead.
The Coyotes tried desperately to tie the game as the third period continued. A penalty to Dallas defenseman Trevor Daley with 3:22 to play gave Phoenix their best opportunity to tie the game, but the Dallas penalty killers rose to the challenge and kept the Coyotes confined to the perimeter where Hedberg could easily make the saves and hold onto the one-goal lead.
With less than a minute to go in regulation, the Coyotes pulled Joseph for the extra attacker, but it was the Stars who would capitalize as Jere Lehtinen gained control of the puck and fired it into the empty net for his seventh goal of the season and solidifying a 5-3 victory for the Stars.
Early in the first period of Saturday's game against the Stars, Coyote forward Petr Nedved sustained a injury to his right elbow.
Nedved left the ice and did not return. No immediate timetable has been placed on Nedved's return, but it appears as though he could miss at least the Coyotes next two games.
"He will be re-evaluated over the next two days, but at this point it looks like he will probably be out of the line up for at least seven days," said Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky.
The Coyotes will now need to decide who will take the injured center's spot in Sunday's contest at Anaheim. Healthy scratches from Saturday's game, Krystofer Kolanos and Jamie Lundmark could both enter the line up on Sunday.
"One of them will take his (Nedved's) place," said Gretzky. "But both of them could play Sunday based on what we saw tonight."
BUSY NIGHT IN NET
Coyotes goaltender Curtis Joseph had a busy night in goal on Saturday as he stopped 36 of the 40 shots he faced.
The 36-save performance was a new season high for Joseph, passing the mark he set in Vancouver on Oct. 20 (35).
The Coyotes will return to the ice tomorrow as they face the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the second meeting between the two clubs in the last seven days. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m. and fans can catch all the action on FSN Arizona as well as listen to the game live on KDUS-1060 AM or KDKB-93.3 FM.
LENEVEU TO START SUNDAY
Phoenix netminder David LeNeveu is scheduled to start Sunday's game in Anaheim. LeNeveu is coming off his first career NHL victory on Oct. 25 vs. St. Louis.
BACK HOME ON NOV. 3RD
Phoenix will return home to Glendale Arena on November 3rd when they play host to the Los Angeles Kings. The game will be the second broadcast of the season on FSNHD and can also be heard on KDUS-1060 AM or KDKB-93.3 FM.