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Coyotes complete road trip by taking on Stars

by Adam Kimelman /
COYOTES (15-11-7) at STARS (21-10-4)
TV -- FS-A (HD), FS-SW (HD)
Last 10 --
Phoenix 4-4-2; Dallas 5-2-3
Season series -- This is the third of four games between the teams this season. On Nov. 5, Loui Eriksson had 2 goals and 2 assists in a 6-3 victory in Dallas. On Dec. 11, Coyotes captain Shane Doan scored twice in a 5-2 victory in Phoenix.
Big Story -- The Stars are unbeaten in regulation (4-0-2) since losing to the Coyotes in their last meeting. The Coyotes have just one win -- a shootout victory against the Islanders on Dec. 16 -- in five games since beating the Stars.
Team Scope:
Coyotes -- Sunday marks the team's last chance to take something positive out of its six-game road trip. They're 1-3-1 so far, including two straight losses to the Penguins and Sharks by a combined 10-2 score.
General Manager Don Maloney told the Arizona Republic he sees a few reasons for why the team is skidding right now.
"We're making mistakes with the puck -- big mistakes at certain times in the game that end up in the back of our net," he said. "The penalties we've been taking have gotten us out of a rhythm we need to have.
"We're not a team that has that upper-end elite-level skill. We need everybody to contribute, and when you end up with your offensive players get sitting for a long time and your defensive penalty-killers get overtaxed, then nothing good happens."
Stars -- His goal Tuesday against Montreal was the 100th of his NHL career, and his assist Thursday against the Flames gave Loui Eriksson 37 points -- 11th in the League -- in 35 games. He's on pace for 86 points, which would be a career-best, and mark the fourth straight season he's raised his point total.
"It's great for him, but he's not a guy who really cares about individual notoriety," coach Marc Crawford told reporters. "He's continuing to grow and continuing to improve, and I like the fact he's always pushing himself to get a little better."
Eriksson said the 100th goal was fun, but the 5-2 win that night against the Canadiens was even more fun.
"Of course, it's always fun to get a chance to get 100 goals, but I want to keep going," Eriksson told reporters. "You just want to try to do more every game. That's what we're all doing."
Who's Hot -- After totaling just 6 assists in his first 14 games with the Coyotes, Ray Whitney has 5 goals and 16 points in his last 17 games. … Eriksson, the Stars' top-line left wing, has 5 goals and 12 points in his last nine games, and he has at least a point in five straight.
Injury Report -- Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (upper body) and forward Taylor Pyatt (upper body) are on injured reserve. … Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins is questionable with a bruised quadriceps.
Stat Pack -- The Stars are unbeaten in regulation in their last 13 home games (10-0-3). The last time they lost in 60 minutes at American Airlines Center was Oct. 28.
Puck Drop -- Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski will play his 1,000th NHL game Sunday. He'll become the 256th player in League history to hit that milestone, and the fifth player this season to get there, following Ottawa's Sergei Gonchar, Buffalo's Mike Grier, Los Angeles' Ryan Smyth and Calgary's Craig Conroy.

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