DALLAS - Phoenix Coyotes rookie Daniel Carcillo has established his credentials as an enforcer with a league-high 324 penalty minutes this season. He's also flashed some ability on the offensive end.
Carcillo had three goals for his first career hat trick, rookie Martin Hanzal notched the tiebreaking goal in the second period, and the Coyotes beat the Dallas Stars 4-2 on Friday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
"He plays hard all the time and loves to compete," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said of Carcillo. "All in all, he's had a tremendous year."
Carcillo put his team ahead with goals in the first and second periods, then clinched the victory with an empty-netter with 2.7 seconds left, his 11th of the season.
"It's pretty special. I haven't had a hat trick since juniors," Carcillo said. "I want to end the season on a positive note."
The Coyotes took the season series from the Stars, 5-3. Carcillo said one factor behind his team's success against Dallas was maintaining a physical edge.
"We play a pretty physical game," Carcillo said. "(The Stars) don't have too many guys who like to get hit. We seem to do better against teams like Dallas and Anaheim."
With the game tied 2-2, Hanzal took a long lead pass from Zbynek Michalek and beat Dallas goalie Marty Turco on a breakaway for his eighth goal of the season at 13:13 of the second period.
The teams completed a home-and-home, back-to-back situation, with Dallas having won Thursday night's matchup in Glendale, Ariz., 4-2.
Trevor Daley had a goal and Philippe Boucher scored short-handed for Dallas, 3-8-2 in its last 13 games. Despite the slide that knocked them out of first place in the Pacific Division, the Stars have clinched a playoff spot and will meet the Anaheim Ducks in the first round, with Anaheim holding home-ice.
The Stars need a better effort in the playoffs than they turned in on Friday night.
"We're not real happy with our effort," Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. "It's Game 81, we'd better find something else in the tank because that wasn't good tonight. This was lacklustre."
Mikael Tellqvist made 30 saves for the Coyotes, 2-7-1 in their last 10 games. Phoenix will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season.
Carcillo notched the game's first goal at 2:51 of the opening period on a wrist shot from the slot.
Daley tied it 1-1 at 18:10 of the first period, skating to the net and converting Steve Ott's centring pass for Daley's fifth of the season.
Carcillo gave Phoenix a 2-1 lead at 3:49 of the second period, using a lead pass from Steven Reinprecht to beat Turco on a power-play breakaway.
Boucher's first goal since last Oct. 31 tied it 2-2 at 4:40 of the second period. With the Stars on the penalty-kill, Boucher, who missed 38 games due to injuries this season, worked a 2-on-1 break with Stu Barnes and scored his second of the season from the right circle.
With top defenceman Sergei Zubov out with a groin injury, the Stars need heavy contributions from Boucher in the playoffs.
"He's coming on," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "We're going to need strong minutes from him. It's good to see him score, but he needs to be a horse defensively."
Notes: Phoenix has 61 goals from rookies this season. ... The Coyotes complete the season Sunday at Anaheim. Dallas finishes up on Sunday at home against San Jose. ... For the second straight night, Dallas' scratches included C Brad Richards (soreness) and C Mike Ribeiro (flu). The Stars expect both to be ready for the playoffs. ... Also out for the Stars was RW Krys Barch (slight concussion).