Dallas Stars vs. Phoenix Coyotes recap: Ending on a high note

Christian Petersen

The Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Dallas Stars 2-1 on Sunday night.

It was a night for awards, a night for fan appreciation and a night to say farewell to the 2013-14 Phoenix Coyotes one last time before the team heads into the offseason.

Antoine Vermette won the Jukka Nieminen Memorial Trophy for the hardest working player as well as the team MVP award and David Moss was awarded the Man of the Year award for his work in the community.

But for all the pregame festivities, there was still a game to be played, albeit meaningless in the standings.

The Coyotes viewed their Sunday opponent with an envious glare as the Dallas Stars had already secured the final Western Conference playoff spot the Coyotes yearned for. While a win would not change that, a victory would be a nice consolation prize to cap off a disappointing season.

The Coyotes did just that as a late goal by Moss propelled the Desert Dogs to victory and ended a seven-game losing streak.

"I was up awful early this morning having a cup of coffee watching the sunrise just thinking about...how exciting this day could have been, and really it's going to be hollow, coach Dave Tippett said. "Standing on the bench, that is a hollow game, a very frustrating game for a coach."

Thomas Greiss provided another solid game in what could have been his final game in Sedona Red. The German goalie allowed one goal on 17 shots and earned his 10th win of the season. Greiss is an unrestricted free agent and may pursue teams that would increase his playing time in the summer.

While Sunday's game was played for pride and pride alone, it did not take long to find out why the Coyotes were in this unfortunate position.

A persistent problem all season for the Coyotes is a penalty kill that has been downright bad. That trend continued on Sunday.

Colton Sceviour danced around rookie Connor Murphy and fought through a Greiss poke check to backhand his eighth goal of the season on the power play. It was a slick move for the 24-year-old forward and a microcosm of the Coyotes' PK troubles.

However, Phoenix dominated play in the aftermath of Sceviour's goal, but could not solve Tim Thomas.

But if at first you don't succeed, try and try again.

It took the Coyotes just 31 seconds into the second period to finally get on the board. Shane Doan tipped a Zbynek Michalek point shot past Thomas for his 23rd goal of the season.

Phoenix continued to control 5-on-5 play and were rewarded for it late in the third period.

Moss scored his eighth goal of the season with 2:31 remaining in regulation with a simple wrist shot that found its way through a livid Thomas who believed he should have made the save.

"It's nice to score obviously, and get a win," Moss said. 'I'm like everybody else, I'm frustrated too, but I guess it's nice to score and get a win at the end of the season."

It is always nice to finish off a season with a win, but the final game of this regular season means one more thing, the "Phoenix" era is over. The next time the Coyotes play, they will be referred to as Arizona.

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