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Coyotes hope for more success against Stars

by Brian Compton
COYOTES (32-18-5) at STARS (24-19-11)

Last 10: Phoenix 6-3-1; Dallas 5-5-0.

Season Series: This is the third of six meetings between the Pacific Division rivals. Phoenix has won the first two, including a 5-2 decision at Arena on Nov. 27, 2009. Lauri Korpikoski scored a pair of goals in the victory.

Big Story: With points in seven of their last 10 games, the Coyotes have moved into sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: Phoenix scored three times in the first period, then hung on for dear life late in the third for a 3-2 win against the New York Rangers at Arena on Saturday night. Jason LaBarbera got the rare start and made 24 saves against his former team.

"It was a game where we were in control early and the style that they play tends to make the game look a little bit ragged," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "We had some opportunities in the second period, but didn't put it away."

Stars: Dallas will be looking to make it three in a row on Sunday night after earning a 3-2 victory against the Colorado Avalanche at the American Airlines Center on Friday night. Mike Modano scored twice -- including the game-winner -- and Alex Auld made 24 saves.

"He's playing just terrific hockey for us right now,'' Stars coach Marc Crawford said of Modano, who has 1,351 career points. "He's got some real chemistry going with Toby Petersen, we saw that over the last month. Mo is just such an experienced player that when he has a feel for people, he does have terrific vision. You combine terrific vision with some energy and a player that has that kind of skill, you're going to have good things happen. Not only did he get the winning goal for us, but I thought he was a real force on the bench. He's been through these types of battles and he was a calming influence for us on the bench as well. We'll continue to try and get as much out of him as we can in games.''

Who's Hot: Coyotes captain Shane Doan has goals in each of his last three games. … Modano has six goals in his last eight contests for the Stars.

Injury Report: Coyotes forward Scottie Upshall is questionable after suffering a knee injury on Thursday night against Calgary, while defenseman Kurt Sauer (neck) is out. … Stars forward Mike Ribeiro (throat) is inching closer to returning but likely won't play on Sunday. Tom Wandell (knee) is out for the season. Jere Lehtinen (neck) should return to the lineup against the Coyotes.

Stat Pack: Dallas has won five consecutive home games and eight of its last nine in the Lone Star State. The Stars have registered a point in 15 of their last 17 games at home.

Puck Drop: "Obviously, you get disappointed when you get sent down, but there's nothing else to do but get back on my horse and keep working. A lot of great players in this League have been down there so I'm not the first guy that has been disappointed." -- Coyotes forward Mikkel Boedker
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