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Arizona Coyotes done in by high-flying Dallas Stars

The Stars’ offense simply proved too much for a tired Coyotes team.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The scheduling gods were not kind to the Arizona Coyotes when they put offensive powerhouses Chicago and Dallas back-to-back this week. Last night and tonight proved why.

Arizona had no answer for Dallas’ relentless onslaught as they fell 5-2 to the Stars on Friday night at American Airlines Center.

Scoring Summary

First Period

1-0 Arizona - Radim Vrbata got the Coyotes on the board first with after one-timing a beautiful seeing-eye pass from Max Domi from the near-side boards to the high-slot. Assists to Domi and Alex Goligoski on the goal at 7:06.

1-1 Tie - The Stars would answer Arizona’s opener on a four-on-two play. Max Domi lost an edge in the offensive zone, which the Stars converted at the other end when Jiri Hudler found Devin Shore in the high-slot on the ensuing rush. Assists to Hudler and Esa Lindell on the goal at 14:12.

Second Period

2-1 Arizona - Martin Hanzal continues to demonstrate why he’s the hottest name on the trade market. This time, he corralled a puck that glanced off the dasher boards behind Kari Lehtonen and used his wingspan to slide the puck through the crease to the opposite side post and in. Assists to Radim Vrbata and Connor Murphy on the goal at 13:59.

2-2 Tie - An inability to stay out of the penalty box finally cost the Coyotes dearly as John Klingberg capitalized on a sloppy Arizona penalty kill. Both Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Luke Schenn attempted to contain Jason Spezza streaking in on the near-side, which left Klingberg unmarked in the slot for the easy power play goal. Assists to Spezza and Devin Shore on the power play goal at 18:58.

Third Period

3-2 Dallas - Dallas took their first lead of the night as Jamie Benn absolutely abused Louis Domingue. Benn opened up space for himself on Connor Murphy. He faked a shot which sent Domingue sprawling, and instead skated quickly around the back of the goal for the easy wrap-around. Assists to Jordie Benn and Esa Lindell on the goal at 3:03.

4-2 Dallas - One-time Coyote Lauri Korpikoski bested his former team off of Radek Faksa in front. Faksa’s initial shot was stopped by Louis Domingue, but Korpikoski was in perfect position on the far-side for the easy rebound goal. Assists to Faksa and Jamie Oleksiak on the goal at 9:22.

5-2 Dallas - Cody Eakin left no doubt at the end of the third period when he sniped Louis Domingue over the goaltender’s glove off of a faceoff play. Eakin won the draw and hung around the faceoff dot as Jamie Benn and Brett Ritchie played keep-away along the boards. Eakin got the puck again, and his wobbler found its way into the top corner on Domingue. Assists to Benn and Ritchie on the goal at 15:58.

Three Answers

1. Can the Coyotes rally on minimal rest? - The Coyotes looked like many a team on the second half of a road back-to-back: decent start to the game, but unable to sustain the energy late.

2. Will potential trade assets prove their worth? - Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata scored Arizona’s only goals on the night, so that counts as a big “yes”.

3. Can Dallas overcome “bye week” fatigue? - The Stars blitzed the Coyotes for five goals off their bye week. It wasn’t always pretty, but Dallas seemed to find their legs right as the Coyotes were losing theirs.

Players of the Game

Arizona - Radim Vrbata - A goal and an assist tonight for Vrbata as he extends his team points lead over Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He’s on pace to set a career best in assists this season.

Dallas - Jamie Benn - Benn had the game winner and an assist tonight. He has four goals and five assists in his last six games.

Paw Prints

  • For more on the Dallas Stars, check out Defending Big D
  • The Stars made the biggest splash of trade season thus far before tonight’s game by sending forward Patrick Eaves to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a conditional second-rounder.
  • The Stars paid tribute to Alex Goligoski during the game. Goligoski spent five and a half seasons with the Stars before this year.
  • After failing to convert on a double-minor in the early second period, the Coyotes gave up three straight power plays, with the final one ending in Klingberg’s late third period goal.
  • Radim Vrbata is now on an eight game point streak, with three goals and six assists in that span.
  • Hanzal’s 16th goal of the season ties his career high set back in the 2010-11 season.

Looking Ahead

Arizona plays a rare Sunday night game at home as they welcome the Buffalo Sabres to town for their only trip to Glendale this season. Puck drop is at 6:30 PM Arizona time.