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'Yotes Notes: Top Line Delivers vs. Stars

Derek Stepan, Clayton Keller and Max Domi produced seven points in loss to Dallas on Thursday

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

GLENDALE -- The Coyotes got seven points from their top line on Thursday night, but it wasn't enough to lead them to their elusive first win of the season.

Derek Stepan and Clayton Keller notched two goals and one assist each, and Max Domi chipped in an assist in a 5-4 loss to the Dallas Stars at Gila River Arena.

"Our top line produced for us," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said. "... It wasn't enough. I thought we played well enough to win. A couple of tough-luck goals (against). The guys played hard. I asked all week for them to keep their energy and practice hard and they did. Other than the results, these guys played hard tonight."

Stepan, Keller and Domi all took five shots on goal, nearly half of Arizona's 31 for the game.

Keller scored both of his goals in the third period. His first goal was the game's prettiest, as he beat Stars goalie Ben Bishop with a shot between his legs to cap a breakaway. Keller's second goal pulled the Coyotes to within 5-4 with 21.2 seconds to play.

Video: DAL@ARI: Keller slips one through the five-hole

With five goals in seven games, Keller leads all NHL rookies in goals scored.

"I think we played a good game," Keller said of his line. "We can get better in our own zone. I think I can definitely get better at coverage and getting pucks out."

Video: Keller on 2-Goal Night vs. Stars

Stepan, who played 21:46, scored Arizona's first two goals, ending a six-game goal-less streak to start his career with the Coyotes. He nearly scored a third late in the second period, but Bishop stripped him of the puck above the crease with a nice poke check.

"Max and Clayton, they work so well together, and I've just kind of found a little hole in between them," Stepan said after the 14th multi-goal game of his NHL career. "We work well on the ice. We cover a lot of the ice. I thought we won a lot of battles tonight as a line."

Video: Stepan: 'I Feel So Confident in This Group'

• With the loss, Arizona dropped to 0-6-1 on the season. While Stepan is frustrated by those results, he said he feels confident things will get better soon.

"We haven't taken a step backwards," Stepan said. "Our coach comes in and he says that he wants us to get to the net, and tonight we get pucks and bodies there all night. Good things happen when you do that ... We've just got to find a way to outscore the other team, one time, just to try to relieve the pressure of not getting a win. Honestly, it kind of feels like it's creeping in a little bit. It's kind of created a little bit of a monster. I want nothing more than this group to find a way to get a win on Saturday (vs. Chicago)."

Video: DAL@ARI: Stepan finishes rebound for his second goal

• Goalie Adin Hill, playing just his second NHL game, stopped 26 of 31 shots.

• Stepan wore the rotating third 'A.' Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Niklas Hjalmarsson are wearing the 'A' on a permanent basis this season.

• Domi assisted on Stepan's first goal to extend his point streak vs. Dallas to seven games.

Video: Tocchet: 'We Played Good Enough to Win'

Zac Rinaldo delivered a team-high four hits. He has 10 in his first two games of the season.

Brad Richardson missed his second consecutive game because of a lower-body injury.

Brendan Perlini, who has missed four consecutive games because of an upper-body injury, is expected to practice with teammates on Friday.

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