The Dallas Stars' six-game point streak came to an end with a 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Stars were down 3-0 late in the game and got two quick goals from Brett Ritchie and Alexander Radulov late in the game but couldn't get the equalizer and lost in regulation for the first time since Jan. 17. Anton Khudobin stopped 36 shots for the Stars, who fell to 28-22-5 on the season.
"You have to play 60 minutes, that's the bottom line," Radulov said. "It's not enough to play two periods or 50 minutes. It's a 60-minute hockey game. We have to understand that."
Here are five things from Saturday's game.
1. Stars come up short in special teams battle
In Monday's 5-4 win over Arizona at American Airlines Center, the Stars won the special teams battle, scoring three times on four chances with the power play while holding the Coyotes scoreless on their four opportunities with the man-advantage.
Saturday in Glendale, the Coyotes turned the tables on the Stars when it came to special teams play. The Coyotes scored on two of their three chances with the power play and held the Stars scoreless on their three opportunities. And that was basically the difference in the game.
Alex Goligoski scored seven seconds into Arizona's first power play 8:49 into the game to put the Coyotes up 1-0. Alex Galchenyuk scored late in the second on the power play, and Arizona had a 2-0 lead going into the third.
Galchenyuk scored at even strength early in the third to make it a 3-0 game, and it was too much for the Stars to overcome on this night.
"They won the special teams," Stars center Tyler Seguin said. "They weren't generating much the first half on five-on-five. I thought we were controlling the play and special teams gave them the lead. Third period they got that third goal, and we stopped playing, and then we started again. It just wasn't a good, full 60-minute effort by us tonight."
The Stars failed to score with the man-advantage for the ninth time in the last eleven games.
"We had our chances. It's not like we didn't have our chances," said Radulov. "When we have the chances and the opportunities, we have to bury them. That was basically the difference."
The Stars did make it interesting with two goals in 27 seconds late in the game to make it 3-2. Ritchie scored on a rebound created by a nice drive to the net by Roope Hintz. And then Radulov tipped in a John Klingberg shot to pull the Stars to within one with 3:12 left but they couldn't get that third goal.
Video: Montgomery discusses loss to Coyotes
2. It's a 3-2 league
The Stars have opened this stretch of five straight games on the road with two losses, both by 3-2 scores. It's often been said that the NHL is a 3-2 league and the Stars, like most teams, do a lot better when they get to three goals. But the Stars have not hit three goals a lot this season.
Of their 55 games, the Stars have scored three goals or more in 24 of them and two goals or fewer in 31. Their record in those 24 games where they score three or more? It's 20-3-1. The record is 8-19-4 when they score two goals or fewer.
On the road, the Stars have scored two goals or fewer in 19 of 27 games and are 4-12-3 when unable to hit the three-goal mark.
"When we are playing our best the power play is getting a goal and two of the four lines are getting goals," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. "If we get to three goals, we usually have success."
The Stars are 29th in goal scoring at 2.58 per game. They are 29th on the road in scoring as well at 2.15 per game.
"It's just work. We need to work harder. Bring more energy," said Radulov. "Get to the front of the net, take the goalie's eyes away and battle for loose pucks in front. There are always rebounds there. We just have to understand that and be better at that."
Video: Radulov on Stars' trouble finding offense in loss
3. Polak injured after Crouse hit
Stars defenseman Roman Polak left Saturday's game in the first period after he was slammed into the boards by Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse. Polak was down on his knees for a while after the hit before leaving the ice.
Polak went into the concussion protocol and passed. Montgomery originally said Polak had failed the protocol test and then later clarified that he had passed. Polak is day to day with an upper-body injury.
As for Crouse, he received a minor penalty for boarding on the hit.
Video: DAL@ARI: Khudobin stops Galchenyuk and Keller
4. Central Division tightens
The Stars continue to hold onto third place in the Central Division, but there are a couple of teams creeping up on them. The Wild won 4-2 in New Jersey Saturday afternoon and moved to within two points of the Stars for third place in the division. And the St. Louis Blues won 3-2 over Nashville for their fifth consecutive victory and are four points behind the Stars with two games in hand.
The Wild and Blues hold the two wild-card spots in the West. Vancouver, which holds the ninth spot in the West, was six points behind the Stars as they headed into their game with Calgary late Saturday night.
Video: DAL@ARI: Ritchie, Radulov score 27 seconds apart
5. 'Yotes snap nine-game skid against Stars
The Coyotes snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Stars, beating Dallas for the first time since Feb. 18, 2016. ... The Stars fell to 10-14-3 on the road. ... The Coyotes outshot the Stars 39-35 and Dallas had a 71-54 advantage in shot attempts. ... Scoring chances were 23-16 in favor of Dallas, according to naturalstattrick.com. ... Seguin led the Stars with nine shot attempts. ... Roope Hintz, Jason Dickinson, and Miro Heiskanen all had three scoring chances. ... The Stars were 0-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill. ... Dallas won 40 of 65 faceoffs (62 percent). Seguin won 11 of 18 faceoffs (61 percent). Radek Faksa won 10 of 15 (67 percent). ... Klingberg led the Stars with 27:16 of ice time. Heiskanen was next with 26:35.
Here is the lineup the Stars used to start the game along with scratches and injuries.
Jamie Benn - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Mattias Janmark - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Andrew Cogliano - Jason Dickinson - Jason Spezza
Denis Gurianov - Roope Hintz - Brett Ritchie
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Miro Heiskanen - Roman Polak
Jamie Oleksiak - Taylor Fedun
Scratched: Connor Carrick, Julius Honka, Valeri Nichushkin
Injured: Ben Bishop (upper body), Tyler Pitlick (wrist surgery), Martin Hanzal (back), Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches), Marc Methot (knee surgery)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.
Mark Stepneski has covered the Stars for DallasStars.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.