The Phoenix Coyotes hit the ice at Jobing.com Arena for the last time until the end of December, but chose to go out with a bang. The Desert Dogs got on the board quickly against Andrew Raycroft and the Dallas Stars, defeating the Pacific Division leaders by a count of 5-2.
Coming in against a Dallas team had played to extra time in three of its four previous contests, the Coyotes came out firing on all cylinders, finding the net early and often. Ray Whitney got the scoring started with his fourth goal of the year six minutes in. Oddly enough, it was only the second game in which Whitney scored a goal, with the other three all coming in one game.
From there, Shane Doan took over for the rest of the first period. The Coyote captain netted his third of the season just over a minute after Whitney's first goal, before adding another on the power play later in the period. Doan tied for the team lead in shots, with five, and registered a plus-1 in his nearly 14 minutes of ice time.
That early lead is one that the Coyotes would not surrender. Dallas eventually got on the board, with James Neal scoring the only goal in the second period. That second marked the only period that Phoenix was outshot in the game, despite being on the short end in the shot totals at the end.
Any hope Dallas had going into the third period was short lived. Lauri Korpikoski potted a shorthanded goal just over a minute into the last frame. Midway through the third, Keith Yandle's goal to give the Coyotes a 5-1 edge would be all she wrote for Andrew Raycroft, who was chased after 50 minutes in goal. Loui Eriksson's power play goal towards the end of the period would prove irrelevant.
On the other end of the ice, Ilya Bryzgalov was a contrast of the Stars' backup goaltender. Turning in yet another solid performance, stopping 33 of the 35 Dallas shots. It was the sixth time in Bryz's last eight that he allowed two or less goals between the pipes.
The win bumped Phoenix up to 6-4-4 at Jobing.com Arena, which is disappointing given their 8-4-2 record away from home. The Yotes will get a chance to build on that impressive road mark when they leave Phoenix for six games, which begins on Wednesday night with a tilt against the New Jersey Devils.
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes hope to snap a three-game home losing streak this evening as they battle the Pacific Division-leading Dallas Stars this evening at Jobing.com Arena.
Phoenix will play its next six games on the road after tonight's meeting and fell to 5-4-4 as the host thanks to Thursday's 3-2 setback to Minnesota. Taylor Pyatt had both goals and Ilya Bryzgalov made 30 saves for the Coyotes, who are 2-3-1 since a seven-game winning streak in mid-November.
"[We] came out a little bit flat at home. It seemed like a couple of times we were going to battle back in the game, but it just didn't happen," Pyatt told Phoenix's website. "It's definitely a disappointing game for us here at home."
Pyatt has five goals in his last eight games after scoring just once over his first 19 games. That goal came in the club's season opener on Oct. 9 and the forward has just four goals and one assist in 22 games versus the Stars.
The Stars are 9-0-1 over their last 10 home games, but play two straight and four of their next five on the road. Dallas has dropped two straight and six of its last nine as the guest and is 6-6-1 as the road club this season.
Hosting Carolina last night, Dallas skated to a 2-1 shootout victory. Brad Richards scored the lone goal of the breakaway session and Andrew Raycroft, making his second straight start with Kari Lehtonen battling back issues, made 22 saves.
"He played great," Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas said of Raycroft. "He's been really good every time he stepped in net. I think we all feel really confident. He's calm, and he's playing the puck really well."
James Neal scored in the first period for the Stars, who are 7-1-1 in their last nine overall and lead the Ducks by two points for the division's top spot. Neal has four goals and four assists over a six-game point streak.
The Stars hosted the Coyotes on Nov. 5 in the first of six meetings between the clubs this season and scored a 6-3 victory thanks to two goals each from Loui Eriksson and Richards. Lehtonen made 25 saves as Dallas beat Phoenix for the third time in four games.
The Coyotes, though, have still won seven of the last 10 meetings overall and four of the last five played at Jobing.com Arena.
Sami Lepisto and Shane Doan had the goals for Phoenix and Bryzgalov was pulled early after allowing three goals on 18 shots. He did not get a decision, though, and is 10-7-2 with a 2.33 goals-against average in his career when facing the Stars.
Raycroft, who is likely to get the call again tonight, is 1-3-1 with a 3.07 GAA in his career versus Phoenix.