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Coyotes-Stars Preview

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Coyotes-Stars Preview

GAME: Phoenix Coyotes (11-11-2) at Dallas Stars (14-6-1).

TIME: Saturday, 8:30 p.m. EST.

Riding the success of one of the NHL's hottest lines, the Dallas Stars look to extend a season-high five-game winning streak when they host the Phoenix Coyotes.

Three of Dallas' wins during the streak have come against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, including a 3-1 victory Wednesday.

Jason Arnott scored twice in the third period and Brenden Morrow also had a goal for the Stars, winners of eight of nine overall.

Over the last four games, the line of Arnott, Morrow and Bill Guerin has accounted for nine goals and 11 assists. Arnott has five goals - all against Anaheim - and two assists, Guerin has two goals and five assists and Morrow added two goals and four assists.

"Look at that line, what they've done for us," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "Billy is really buying into the team game and he's pushing hard. Arnott, he's a horse. He's so big and so strong, and when he gets a head of steam, it's hard to contain him."

Wednesday marked the 13th straight game that Dallas has scored at least three goals, matching the second-longest streak in team history. The Stars scored three or more in 14 in a row in 1982 and 1986, when they were the Minnesota North Stars.

A potent power play has also contributed to the Stars' current run. They've scored at least one goal with the man advantage in 12 consecutive games.

Leading after one period is usually a very good sign for Dallas, which is a league-best 59-5-5 when ahead after 20 minutes in Tippett's three years as head coach.

The Coyotes are the only team Anaheim has beaten in its last 10 games, with the Mighty Ducks posting a 2-1 victory in Phoenix on Tuesday.

Four times this season the Coyotes have won two straight, but each time they've gone on to lose the next game.

Phoenix likely will be without two key contributors Friday.

Center Petr Nedved sustained a concussion Tuesday and is listed as day-to-day. Defenseman Derek Morris did not skate in practice Wednesday because of bruised ribs and the team called up defenseman Matt Jones from the minors.

"Derek is a tough kid and doesn't like to miss any games, but it was clear that he was hurting last night and I don't want to take any chances with him making the injury worse," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 24): Coyotes - 24 points, 3rd place, 7 PB, Pacific Division. Stars - 29 points, 2nd place, 2 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Coyotes - Mike Leclerc, 8 goals; Ladislav Nagy and Paul Mara, 13 assists; Nagy, 20 points; Sean O'Donnell, 57 PIM. Stars - Jere Lehtinen, 11 goals; Arnott and Morrow, 14 assists; Arnott, 24 points; Steve Ott, 62 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 24): Coyotes - Power play: 18.3 percent (28 for 153), 14th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.7 percent (112 for 137), 17th (tied). Stars - Power play: 18.5 percent (25 for 135), 13th. Penalty killing: 82.9 percent (112 for 135), 13th (tied).

GOALTENDERS: Coyotes - Curtis Joseph (9-7-0, 0 SO, 2.26 GAA); David Leneveu (2-4-2, 2.85). Stars - Marty Turco (12-5-1, 1, 2.70); Johan Hedberg (2-1-0, 3.90).

SEASON SERIES: Stars, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 29; Stars, 5-3. At Glendale, Ariz., Sergei Zubov, Niko Kapanen and Lehtinen scored third-period goals as Dallas rallied from a 3-1 deficit.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Coyotes - 5-6-1 on the road; Stars - 7-4-1 at home.


Associated Press
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