Coyotes Rally, But Fall In Waning Seconds To Stars

Coyotes look to keep pace with Sharks, keep Stars down in division tilt with Dallas.

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Coyotes Can't Close, Fall To Stars In Waning Seconds

If the Phoenix Coyotes were hoping to grab a high seed in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, they certainly aren't making it easy on themselves.

Losers of three in a row, the Coyotes dropped another one to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, 3-2 at Arena. The loss leaves them just four points out of falling out of contention in the Western Conference.

Despite the loss, the Coyotes spent another night flashing their defensive ability, with just one Stars goal standing as the lone score after two periods. That goal came courtesy of Tom Wandell, at the end of the opening frame.

The third period saw things get a bit more interesting.

Veteran Jamie Langenbrunner scored for the Stars in the late-going in the third period, giving Dallas a 2-0 edge with about eight to go.

The Coyotes weren't done, though. Phoenix's newest d-man, Rostislav Klesla, scored his first goal as a Coyote to narrow the gap to 2-1. With less than 40 seconds remaining, Ray Whitney finally capitalized on a chance and evened the score with his 12th of the season.

With all the momentum, there's no way the Coyotes could possibly lose this one right? With Radim Vrbata sitting in the penalty box for hooking, the Yotes did just that. Jamie Benn potted a power play goal with five seconds remaining to hand Phoenix their fourth consecutive loss.

The loss doesn't change the Coyotes' place in the standings, but puts them just one point ahead of fifth place Calgary in the West. They also lead the remaining three teams in contention by just two.

The bad news that comes with that is the fact that the Coyotes are tied with the Flames for most games played in the West, meaning that even not playing until Thursday could leave them in fifth behind Calgary, or tied at 76 points, with both the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild.

It doesn't get any easier for the Coyotes on Thursday, when they head West to meet the division rival Los Angeles Kings to try and stop their skid.


Coyotes Return To Phoenix, Try To Snap Skid Against Visiting Dallas Stars

The Phoenix Coyotes will look to halt their three-game skid when they return to Arena for a tilt against the division rival Dallas Stars. The Yotes kicked off their five-game road trip in the midst of a win streak that would end up stretching eight games. That streak carried into the first two games of their road trip, with wins coming in Nashville and Philadelphia.

The latter half of their road swing didn't go so well. The Coyotes were embarrassed in Tampa Bay, and in Columbus, before losing in a shootout to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Much of that is due to their penalty kill, which gave up eight power play goals over that span.

It's not like the Stars have been blowing anyone away in recent weeks either. Though they've won back-to-back games, they've won just three of their last 10, and now find themselves on the  verge of falling out of contention with a loss on Tuesday.

The big news for Phoenix is the expected debut of their new defenseman, Rostislav Klesla. A longtime Columbus Blue Jacket, Klesla was dealt to Phoenix for a package that included Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto.

Part of what made Upshall expendable is the recent play of the youngster Mikkel Boedker, who may have finally sealed himself a spot on the Coyotes roster with his recent play. The first round pick of the Coyotes in 2008 has a four-game point streak, in which he's tallied six assists.

As usual, it will be Ilya Bryzgalov taking his place in the crease for the Coyotes on Tuesday. The Russian has given up eight goals in his last two starts, after winning eight in a row for the Yotes.

He'll be up against a goalie with a hot hand in Kari Lehtonen. He's allowed just four goals in his last three starts, while ranking in the league's top five in saves.

With recent surges from both the Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks, wins are as crucial as ever for the Coyotes, who trail San Jose by two points, while leading Chicago and Los Angeles by just two apiece.

As always, you can follow along with the crew at Five For Howling, from the puck drop at 7 P.M. local time until the final horn.

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