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Stars-Coyotes Preview

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Arizona Coyotes at Dallas Stars

Wednesday December 31, 2014
7:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

About the Stars

The Stars (16-14-5) are coming off a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers at American Airlines Center Monday night. The Stars won for the sixth time in their last seven games (6-1-0) and snapped the Rangers eight-game winning streak.

“It was a good test to see how we measure up against a solid team like that,” said Stars center Cody Eakin. “I think we proved to ourselves and everyone that we are on the right track.”

The Stars are 7-2-0 in their past nine games overall and 6-2-1 in their past nine games at home.

Wednesday’s game will be their final meeting of the season with the Coyotes, whom they have defeated twice already this season.

“We know they are battling hard and are looking at us as a team they want to try to catch,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “For us, we want to keep some traction and keep going in the right direction.”

Dallas defenseman Jordie Benn (maintenance) did not practice Tuesday.

Injuries: RW Patrick Eaves (ankle), RW Valeri Nichushkin (hip) and D Patrik Nemeth (arm) are out.

About the Coyotes

The Coyotes (14-18-4) extended their winning streak to three games with a 4-2 victory over Philadelphia in Glendale on Monday. It was the first time since early November that the Coyotes have put together three wins in a row.

“I think we knew we were capable of it, but to string it together and show it obviously builds confidence in everybody,” said goaltender Devan Dubnyk. “There is no reason for us to stop now. We have to take a minute tomorrow and think about why we are having success and make sure we are doing the same next game as well.”

The Coyotes have allowed four goals during their three-game winning streak.

Wednesday’s game is a one-game road trip for the Coyotes, who then will return home for six straight games in Glendale.

Injuries: C Joe Vitale (lower body) is questionable. D Chris Summers (upper body) is out.

Series Notes

*This is the third and final meeting between the Stars and Coyotes this season.

*The Stars are 2-0-0 (4 points) in the season series.

*The Coyotes are 0-2-0 (0 points) in the season series.

*Nov. 11, at Arizona: Stars 4, Coyotes 3

*Nov. 20, at Dallas: Stars 3, Coyotes 1

*The Stars have won five straight games against Arizona at American Airlines Center.

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 9-2-1 vs. the Pacific Division.

*The Coyotes are 0-6-3 vs. the Central Division.

*The Stars are 4-16 (25.0 percent) on the power play over their past four games.

*The Coyotes are 9-9 on the penalty kill over their past three games.

*The Stars are 8-12 (66.7 percent) on the penalty kill over their past four games.

*The Coyotes, who rank 11th in the league on the power play at 20.0 percent, are 2-8 with the man-advantage over the past four games.

*Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (25) and points (43).

*Antoine Vermette leads the Coyotes in goals (10) and points (25).

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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