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Game #41 Preview: Arizona vs. Dallas

The Coyotes open a four-game home stand tonight, hosting the Stars at Gila River Arena

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Preview

GAME #41: ARIZONA (21-15-4) vs. DALLAS (21-14-4)

6:00 PM MST - Gila River Arena | Glendale, AZ

TV: Fox Sports Arizona (Matt McConnell, Tyson Nash, Todd Walsh, Jody Jackson)

Radio: Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix (Bob Heethuis, Paul Bissonnette)

Referees: Peter MacDougall #38, Dean Morton #36

Linesmen: Ryan Gibbons #58, Travis Gawryletz #67

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ARIZONA VS. DALLAS

The Coyotes begin a four-game home stand tonight when they host the Dallas Stars at Gila River Arena, marking the first of three scheduled meetings between the teams this season.

Arizona will make its lone visit to American Airlines Center on February 19; Dallas will return to Gila River Arena for the season series finale on March 16.

In return from the holiday break, the Coyotes fell to the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night by a 4-1 score, momentarily surrendering first place in the Pacific Division in the process. Arizona can reclaim the top spot with a win this evening.

The halfway point of the Coyotes' 82-game schedule will officially be reached at the conclusion of tonight's contest.

The Stars are coming off of a 3-2 shootout win over the Colorado Avalanche last night. Dallas currently sits in third-place in the Central Division with 46 points.

Tonight's contest serves as the Stars' final game ahead of the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, when they host the Nashville Predators on New Year's Day at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas.

A starting goaltender has not been announced for tonight's game. That, along with any additional changes to the Coyotes' lineup, will be known when head coach Rick Tocchet addresses the media two hours prior to puck drop.

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THREE THINGS

NOTHING COMES EASY: It'll be a clash of two of the NHL's top-three team defenses tonight at Gila River Arena. The Stars enter the evening ranked second in the league with a 2.49 goals-against per game average, while the Coyotes come in ranked third with a 2.52 goals-against per game average. Both teams have been uncharacteristically loose over the course of their previous three games, however; Dallas has surrendered 14 goals in its past three games, Arizona has surrendered 13 goals.

HOME FOR A WHILE: The Coyotes face their first four-game home stand of the season, the longest stretch of the campaign thus far. The team is 8-9-1 this season at Gila River Arena, a record they're looking to improve upon. "We've got to build some momentum at home, we've talked about it before," said captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson following Saturday's game. "We've got to do what we can at home, play good hockey and earn some points out of it; it starts against Dallas."

NOT MINNESOTA: The Stars are the only Central Division team the Coyotes have yet to play this season. Entering the teams' first meeting, Arizona is 6-4-1 against Central opponents this year, though three of its four regulation losses to teams in Dallas' division have come against the Minnesota Wild. Following tonight's game and Tuesday's match-up against the St. Louis Blues, the Coyotes will not face another team from the Central until early February.

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LAST TIME AROUND

FEBRUARY 9, 2019 - DALLAS (2) at ARIZONA (3)

Sparked by Alex Goligoski 's early power play tally, the Coyotes scored a goal in each period to skate to a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars during the teams' previous meeting on February 9 of last season at Gila River Arena.

After Goligoski gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead in the first period, Alex Galchenyuk added goals in the second and third. The Stars would strike twice in a :27 window with less than five minutes remaining in regulation, but would fail to even the score.

Darcy Kuemper made 33 saves in the win.

The Coyotes finished with an 1-2-0 record against the Stars last season.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

EIGHTEEN (18)

For Taylor Hall , it's seven and eleven against the Dallas Stars. In 23 games played against tonight's opponent over the course of his career, the 28-year-old sharp-shooter has totaled 18 points (7G, 11A).

Hall has found the score sheet in three of his five games since he was acquired, netting his first goal in a Coyotes uniform during Arizona's 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on December 22.

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QUICK HITS

  • Nick Schmaltz leads the Coyotes in home scoring with 14 points (3G, 11A).
  • The Coyotes' next win will be the 1,300th in franchise history.
  • Alex Goligoski played in 385 career games with the Stars, Jason Demers 123 career games with the Stars.
  • Dallas has won three of its last four games played (3-1-0) at Gila River Arena.
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson has points in four of his last five games, totaling six (2G, 4A).
  • Tyler Seguin has 14 points (8G, 6A) in 19 career games against the Coyotes.
  • Arizona owns a 72-84-13-10 all-time record against Dallas.

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Lead Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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