Phoenix Coyotes vs. Dallas Stars
Date: Friday, February 1st
Time: 7:30 pm
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)
After three consecutive one goal losses the Dallas Stars were beaten soundly by the Detroit Red Wings for their fourth straight loss. Loui Eriksson’s third goal of the season in the second period gave the Stars a 1-0 lead that wouldn’t last very long. penalty trouble and breakdown in their defensive zone saw the Red Wings scored less than three minutes later to tie the game and added a late power play tally to take the lead before the third period. On Wednesday, the Dallas Stars sent Reilly Smith down to Austin and recalled Jamie Oleksiak and Antoine Roussel from the Texas Stars. Both Oleksiak and Roussel will be making their debut tomorrow night.
Their opponent tomorrow night is the Phoenix Coyotes, who are coming off a 2-1 OT loss against the Edmonton Oilers as a late goal by Nick Johnson helped the Coyotes secure a point but Nail Yakupov scored the game winner into the 3:52 mark in OT. They are expecting Mike Smith who missed the last two games with a lower body injury, to start in net for them. In his absence, the Coyotes suffered losses to San Jose and Los Angeles in which backup Jason LaBarbera stopped 57 of 65 shots for an .877 save percentage.
It is a crucial game for the Stars, as they need to get back to winning ways, power play definitely and reducing amount of puck turnovers. They also need more offense than they’ve been able to create the last two games because we all know that Kari Lehtonen can’t win these games on his own.
Goaltender match up: Kari Lehtonen will start in goal for the Stars while Mike Smith will start in goal for the Coyotes
Injuries: Derek Roy is out with a groin injury and Cristopher Nilstorp is day-to-day for the Stars. The Coyotes are expected to be without Matthew Lombardi (upper body) and Rostislav Klesla (lower body). The status of forwards Martin Hanzal (lower body) and Steve Sullivan (lower body) remains unclear.
Who to watch for: Loui Eriksson has two goals in his past four games for the Stars. In the 16 games during his NHL career against the Coyotes, Jamie Benn has seven goals and two assists for ten points. Stars center Cody Eakin has 4 points (0 goals, 4 assists) in the last five games.
This is the second of four meetings between the teams. The last time these two met, Jaromir Jagr scored twice and assisted on the other two goals in his Stars debut as the Stars earned a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in their season opener on January 19. Here are some highlights from the last game between them: