Photo Credit: Glenn James
Phoenix - David LeNeveu
Dallas - Marty Turco
FRIDAY'S LINE UP
Keith Ballard - Joe Callahan
Dennis Seidenberg - Zbynek Michalek
Derek Morris - Travis Roche
The first period began with the Coyotes showing the early jump as Derek Morris and Enver Lisin both managed to put shots on goal, but Stars netminder Marty Turco was able to keep the game scoreless.
At 52-seconds of the first period, the Coyotes took their first penalty-killing assignment of the night when left wing Ladislav Nagy was sent to the penalty box for interference. Phoenix would eventually kill off the penalty to Nagy and return to full strength still tied at 0-0.
The Stars began to turn up their own offensive pressure and at 5:04 of the period, they were able to take the first lead of the contest when Trevor Daley's shot beat goaltender David LeNeveu for the 1-0 Dallas lead. Stars forwards' Stu Barnes and Jeff Halpern assisted on Daley's goal.
Just 29-seconds after the Stars took the lead, they went back on the power play, this time it was Derek Morris who was called for roughing. Dallas would only use 31-secods of the man-advantage as newly acquired Eric Lindros found the back of the net at 6:04 of the first, giving the Stars a 2-0 advantage.
The Coyotes tried to bring the offensive pressure back into the Dallas end, as Georges Laraque, Yanick Lehoux and Ladislav Nagy all registered shots within a minutes, but once again, Turco was able to get himself into position and make the saves to keep Dallas up by two.
Phoenix had an opportunity to cut the lead in half at 11:50 of the first, when Turco was charged with a interference call, putting the Coyotes on the power play. Unfortunately, there would be no scoring during the two minutes as Dallas' physical brand of hockey, made it difficult for Phoenix to get out of their own zone and take advantage of the extra attacker.
It looked as if the Coyotes would have another power play at 13:56 of the period when Dallas' Stephane Robidas was sent to the box for interference. This time Dennis Seidenberg and Zbynek Michalek would both register shots on goal, but Phoenix would be unable to sustain enough pressure to cut into the Stars lead.
Enver Lisin took his first penalty of the pre-season at 15:56 of the first when he was whistled for tripping, but the Phoenix penalty -killing unit did a good job of keeping the pressure off LeNeveu and not allowing the Stars to add to their lead.
The Coyotes final scoring chance of the first period cane with 28-seconds remaining on the clock as Jeff Taffe blasted a slap shot on goal. However, Turco made the save and kept Dallas up by a pair of goal to end the first period. Unfortunately for the Coyotes, Derek Morris was assessed a double-minor for roughing at the 20-minute mark of the first, giving the Stars a 4:00 minute power play to start the second period.
After killing off the first of Morris' two minor penalties, the Coyotes had a good shorthanded rush, capped off by Michalek's shot on goal. But the Stars would come right back and at 2:15 of the second, Janne Niinimaa's slap shot beat LeNeveu, giving Dallas a 3-0 lead.
Coyotes forward Josh Gratton tried to inject some momentum into the team when he dropped the gloves with Krys Barch, three-minutes into the second stanza. Both warriors would take five-minute majors for their actions.
Shortly after the battle between Gratton and Sarch, Phoenix forward Dave Scatchard, and Dallas' Jere Lehtinen, would make their first visits to the penalty box for elbowing and tripping, respectively.
With eight and a half minutes gone by in the period, Michalek stole the puck in the Dallas zone, leading to shots on goal by Lisin and Joel Perrault, but the Coyotes were still unable to cut into the Stars lead.
The contest began to get even more physical at 9:45 of the second when Stephane Robidas began a melee by taking a five-minute major for kneeing. Coyotes' defenseman Keith Ballard took exception to the hit and dropped the gloves with Robidas. When things finally settled, Robidas also found himself the recipient of a fighting major and a game-misconduct, while Ballard received a two-minute instigator, five-minute for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.
During the break in play following Ballard and Robidas' battle, the Coyotes made a goaltending change, sending Mike Morrison in to replace David LeNeveu.
Despite the recent rash of penalties, both clubs proved there were still issues to be settled when Derek Morris and Steve Ott threw down the gloves and battled just 25-seconds later.
Over the final five-minute of the second period, the Stars would take a trio of penalties, including a pair by Joel Lundqvist, but the Coyotes offense was still unable to solve the play of Turco. With 40-minutes gone by, the Coyotes skated off the ice trailing by a score of 3-0.
Coyotes forward Josh Gratton made his presence known at the start of the third period as he registered a pair of shots on goal to try and gain the momentum.
But after failing to find the back of the net, Gratton was sent to the box for tripping with 18:06 left in the period. Fortunately, the Phoenix penalty kill was equal to the task, allowing just one shot on goal before the penalty to Gratton expired and the Coyotes returned to full strength.
Dallas wouldn't have to wait long for there next power play opportunity, which came at 6:13 of the third when defenseman Joe Callahan was called for tripping. Once again, the Coyotes penalty-killing unit refused to back down as they held the Stars to without a single shot-on-goal during the Callahan infraction.
With 10:15 to play in the game, Lisin ripped a wrist shot on goal, but Tobias Stephan, who replaced Turco at the start of the third period, was able to move into position and make the save, keeping the Coyotes of the scoreboard.
Phoenix would continue to make the march to the penalty box at 11:05 of the third when Josh Gratton was assessed a 10-minute misconduct and a two-minute minor for roughing, which was served by Donald MacLean.
At 14:03 of the third, the Coyotes finally reached the scoreboard. With Dallas' Krys Barch in the box for interference, the Coyotes took advantage of the four-on-four play and Keith Ballard fed a perfect pass to Yanick Lehoux, who then blasted a slap shot past Stephan and into the goal, to make it a 3-1 game.
Following the goal by Lehoux, the Coyotes would only be able to manage four more shots on goal as the third period expired and Phoenix fell to Dallas by a score of 3-1.