Dallas 3 - Phoenix 2
Maybe next time the Dallas Stars and the Phoenix Coyotes play we can just skip the formalities, save the viewers some time and go straight to the shootout. The Stars won another tight game against the Coyotes this time, making a last minute comeback again against these Coyotes and winning it in a shootout, 3-2.
Dating back to last year, that makes three straight games that the Stars and Coyotes have gone into a shootout and six straight games where the final score between these two teams was decided by one goal. In short, when these two teams play, expect a tight match that comes down to the last seconds.
In their first matchup this year, the Stars tied the game up with 27 seconds left in the game and were able to best Mike Smith in the shootout. This time the Stars tied the game up with 1:01 left on the clock in the third period, saving Stars fans 34 seconds of anguish. They were again able to beat Mike Smith in the shootout, although both goalies were excellent this time around.
In this game, the heroes were Kari Lehtonen (he's the hero pretty much every night), Adam Burish and Trevor Daley. The scoring was started in the first period by Raffi Torres who scored what can only be described as a soft goal against Lehtonen. The shot came an extreme angle to Lehtonen's left and the puck just sailed right by his glove. It's the first soft goal allowed by Lehtonen this season and if he's just allowing one in every seven games he plays, the Stars will be more than happy to take that.
Dallas fought back quickly, scoring five minutes later on what might be their best looking power-play of the season. The passing was crisp and clean and they had ample set-up time to score a goal. The goal scorer this time was Sheldon Souray, who was left wide open for one of his patented cannonshots.
He received the puck at the blue line and just drifted to his left for a good 3 or 4 seconds. No Coyotes defenders attempted to block his path or even hinder him in anyway so he just blasted one right by Smith's right shoulder. The puck was already in the net by the time Smith was raising his glove to attempt to stop the shot.
After a plodding second period that was pretty much devoid of chances, save for a couple by the Coyotes, Phoenix scored in the third period on a power-play. A four-minute penalty on Adam Pardy eventually ended up in a Shane Doan power-play goal as he one-timed a shot by Lehtonen's outstretched glove.
It looked like Dallas would lose game until Adam Burish was able to score off a great pass from Mike Ribeiro. Ribeiro had the puck and circled around behind the Phoenix net. Burish crashed towards the goal and by the Ribeiro resurfaced to face the goal, Burish was ready and waiting for the pass that came. The pass went straight through the crease and Burish was able to easily tap it over Smith's pads for the tying goal. Burish had replaced an ineffective Michael Ryder on the first line (Ribeiro-Ryder-Morrow) for the last three minutes of the game and it paid off for Dallas.
The overtime went by with no real chances, sending the game into the shootout. Both Lehtonen and Smith were excellent and it ended up going eight rounds before Trevor Daley skated over to center ice. Daley, who had never had a shootout attempt in his career, was able to fire the puck by Smith. The win secured 2 more points for Dallas and concluded a successful road-trip where they got 6 of a possible 8 points.
The Stars next game is Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings and Jonathan Quick, the only team to beat Dallas during their four game road trip. This time, home ice will be in the Stars favor.
Notes and Observations:
- While Kari Lehtonen was his usual stellar self (aside from the first goal), Adam Pardy made one of the most important saves in the game in the second period. Kari Lehtonen was out of position after over-committing on a move and Shane Doan found himself with the puck and staring at an empty net about 10 feet away. The closest defender, Pardy, was actually in the goalie crease and he kneeled down, making his body big and blocking Doan's shot. the block preserved a 1-1 tie at the time and it proved to be vastly important.
- Eric Nystrom is proving to be an excellent addition to the team. He brings great energy found himself in position multiple times to score. A guy who always puts himself in a spot to make plays is valuable to any team.
- Jamie Benn only had an assist in the game, but he did a lot that doesn't show on the stat sheet. He was physical on the puck and back-checked very well in this game. He was a demon fighting for possession.
- The power-play goal for Dallas was their first in 4 games.
- Lehtonen is now 7-0 on the year and leads the NHL in wins.
- Dallas leads the Pacific Division by 3 points over the LA Kings. Their 7 wins is tied for most in the league.
Game Stats and Scoring Summary
|Power Plays||1 of 3
||1 of 4
- 7:18 Raffi Torres (1) Dallas 0 - Phoenix 1
Assists: Lauri Korpikoski, Oliver Ekman-Larsson
- 12:22 Sheldon Souray (2) (Power Play) Dallas 1 - Phoenix 1
Assists: Jamie Benn, Steve Ott
2nd Period: No goals
- 8:13 Shane Doan (4) (Power Play) Dallas 1 - Phoenix 2
Assists: Ray Whitney, Daymond Langkow
- 18:59 Adam Burish (2) Dallas 2 - Phoenix 2
Assists: Mike Ribeiro, Brenden Morrow
OT: No goals
- Shootout attempt by Ray Whitney saved by Kari Lehtonen Dallas 0 - Phoenix 0
- Shootout attempt by Loui Eriksson saved by Mike Smith Dallas 0 - Phoenix 0
- Shootout attempt by Radim Vrbata MISSES Dallas 0 - Phoenix 0
- Shootout attempt by Jamie Benn saved by Mike Smith Dallas 0 - Phoenix 0
- Shootout attempt by Shane Doan saved by Kari Lehtonen Dallas 0 - Phoenix 0
- Shootout attempt by Mike Ribeiro saved by Mike Smith Dallas 0 - Phoenix 0
- Shootout attempt by Andy Miele saved by Kari Lehtonen Dallas 0 - Phoenix 0
- Shootout attempt by Sheldon Souray saved by Mike Smith Dallas 0 - Phoenix 0
- Shootout GOAL scored by Patrick O'Sullivan on Kari Lehtonen Dallas 0 - Phoenix 1
- Shootout GOAL scored by Michael Ryder on Mike Smith Dallas 1 - Phoenix 1
- Shootout attempt by Lauri Korpikoski saved by Kari Lehtonen Dallas 1 - Phoenix 1
- Shootout attempt by Brenden Morrow saved by Mike Smith Dallas 1 - Phoenix 1
- Shootout attempt by Adrian Aucoin MISSES Dallas 1 - Phoenix 1
- Shootout attempt by Steve Ott saved by Mike Smith Dallas 1 - Phoenix 1
- Shootout attempt by Daymond Langkow MISSES Dallas 1 - Phoenix 1
- Shootout GOAL scored by Trevor Daley on Mike Smith Dallas 2 - Phoenix 1