The Arizona Coyotes readied themselves for a much larger challenge in the Dallas Stars after disposing of the slumping Montreal Canadians, but unexpectedly and with much satisfaction came away with a 6-3 victory over the Stars.
The scoreline wasn't an accurate representation of how close the game between the former divisional rivals was, as each team recorded over 35 shots on net and shared time with the lead.
Thankfully, Arizona pulled away in the third period, scoring 3 goals on only 8 shots. In comparison, Dallas who continued to try to get themselves back in the game only scored once off 17 shots in the same time frame.
A win over a strong opponent, such as the Stars, is sure to give fans and the Coyotes confidence and momentum that can hopefully be carried into the Coyotes' upcoming road-trip.
1-0 Dallas: With Oliver Ekman-Larsson caught up in the Coyote's offensive zone with a missed pinch opportunity, the Dallas Stars breakout on a 2 on 1 rush. A lone Connor Murphy tried to break up the play but Tyler Seguin had too much time to place his shot after receiving a pass from Patrick Sharp and wristed it over Louis Domingue's shoulder. Assists by Patrick Sharp and Jamie Benn at 9:38.
1-1 Tie: Max Domi brought the Coyotes back to life. At 3:33 of the second period. Anthony Duclair passed the puck to Domi who was at full speed and proceeded to zip past Jason Demers and back hand the puck home against Antti Niemi. Assists to Anthony Duclair and Martin Hanzal.
2-1 Dallas: After a series of penalties for both sides, the Dallas Stars ended up with a man advantage for another 2 minutes. Tyler Seguin fed the puck to behind the goal where Jason Spezza passed it across the crease back-door to a lurking Jamie Benn who was able to sneak the puck past Louis Domingue for his 30th goal of the season. Assists to Jason Spezza and Tyler Seguin at 13:02
2-2 Tie: A big Mike Stone rocket that Niemi never saw coming, courtesy of a big Hanzal screen, kept the Coyotes in touch with the Stars. Assists to Max Domi and Anthony Duclair at 13:53. The type of shot a lot of Coyotes fans would like Stone to take more often.
3-2 Arizona: The Coyotes continued to build momentum and rounded out the period after Max Domi crashed the net after some speed and stick handling skills by Anthony Duclair. Duclair raced past the Dallas defense before forcing Niemi to make a sprawling save, initially keeping the puck out, before Domi whacked the puck in for his second goal of the night at 18:26. Assisted by Anthony Duclair.
4-2 Arizona: Martin Hanzal opened the scoring for the third period on the power play at 7:20. Hanzal won a faceoff straight back to Oliver Ekman-Larsson who took a wrist shot from the point. During this time, Hanzal had moved to screen Niemi and backhanded the rebound through Niemi's five-hole. Assisted by Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
4-3 Arizona: Now it was Dallas's turn to try and stay in touch with the Coyotes, and they did so through Ales Hemsky less than 2 minutes after the Martin Hanzal goal. Louis Domingue was heading right to left after it appeared that a shot from the point was going to bounce of the backboard. Instead, it was picked up by Hemsky who took the puck back to the right side for a wrap-around and just beat Domingue who tried spinning back in desperation. Assisted by Johnny Oduya at 8:33.
5-3 Arizona: Tyler Gaudet scored his first NHL career goal after leaving a drop pass for Kyle Chipchura upon entering the zone. Chipchura drew a defender, freeing up Gaudet to receive a pin point feed from Chipchura and go one-on-one with Niemi before squeaking it under the goalie's right pad. Assisted by Kyle Chipchura and Klas Dahlbeck at 9:14.
6-3 Arizona: Antoine Vermette sealed the game with a slick empty net goal. Assists by Mikkel Boedker and Zbynek Michalek at 18:14.
|Dallas Stars||Arizona Coyotes|
|First Period Shots||11||18|
|Second Period Shots||11||15|
|Third Period Shots||17||8|
3 Stars of the Game
As selected by the Coyotes Broadcast Team:
1st Star - Max Domi (ARI)
2nd Star - Anthony Duclair (ARI)
3rd Star - Martin Hanzal (ARI)
- For the Dallas perspective, check out Defending Big D.
- Jarred Tinordi and Nicklas Grossman were both healthy scratches again for the Coyotes.
- Meanwhile, Viktor Tikhonov returned to the ice for the first time since playing against Anaheim on February the 5th.
- Dallas' top pairing of Alex Goligoski and John Klingberg were a combined -6 tonight.
- Niklas Treutle suited up for his first NHL backup duty, filling in for the recently injured Anders Lindback. Lindback is likely to miss the remainder of the season. As such Treutle is expected to stick around until Mike Smith is healthy and may see his NHL debut in the near future.
- Attendance: 11,853
Arizona will finish their home-stand against the St. Louis Blues before beginning a 5 game Eastern road-trip to round out February. Puck drop against the Blues is on Saturday night, 7pm at Gila River Arena, with the game being broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona.