(SportsNetwork.com) – The free-falling Dallas Stars will try to beat the
Arizona Coyotes for the second time this month when they host Thursday’s
battle at American Airlines Center.
The Stars own a dreadful 2-8-2 record over their last 12 games, but one of
those victories came against tonight’s opponent. Dallas notched a 4-3
regulation win in Arizona on Nov. 11, giving the Stars wins in three of four
and six of the last nine meetings with the Coyotes.
Dallas also hopes it can end a lengthy home skid this evening. The Stars have
lost seven straight (0-5-2) in Big D, but have beaten the Coyotes in the last
four encounters in North Texas.
The Stars opened a five-game homestand Tuesday with their third straight
regulation loss, dropping a 6-4 decision to Carolina. The setback pushed
Dallas’ home record to 1-5-4.
Dallas held a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, but then allowed the Hurricanes to
score five unanswered goals to take control of the game. The Stars were able
to cut the deficit to 5-4 late in the third period, but that was as close as
they would get.
Tyler Seguin scored twice while Jamie Benn and Cody Eakin each posted a goal
and an assist for the Stars.
“I think we are beating ourselves mentally right now,” Seguin said. “I don’t
think anyone here thinks we’re playing good hockey.”
Kari Lehtonen allowed four goals on 16 shots in the start, while Anders
Lindback gave up two goals on nine shots in relief. Lehtonen is expected to
start tonight and he boasts a 10-3-4 mark and a 2.17 goals against average in
18 career games against the Coyotes.
The Coyotes will aim to rebound after having a two-game win streak snapped in
Tuesday’s home loss to Washington. Eric Fehr scored the winning goal at 3:16
of overtime to give the Capitals a 2-1 victory at Gila River Arena.
In the extra session, Brooks Orpik cranked a shot from the top of the left
circle that Fehr redirected on net. Mike Smith was there for the first stop,
but Fehr grabbed his own rebound and put it in for the win.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the only goal of the game for the Coyotes, while
Smith stopped 22 shots in the loss.
“I thought we competed hard tonight,” Arizona head coach Dave Tippett said.
“The way you generate offense is to play in the offensive zone. We didn’t get
Forwards Martin Hanzal (lower body) and Rob Klinkhammer (upper body) missed
Tuesday’s game and both are questionable for tonight.
Smith could get the start in net and is 7-4-5 with a 2.09 GAA in his career
against Dallas. Backup Devan Dubnyk is 2-5-1 with a 3.07 GAA in eight lifetime
outings versus the Stars.
Arizona is kicking off a three-game road trip tonight and will also stop in
San Jose and Anaheim during the swing. The Coyotes have won their last two as
the guest to improve their road mark to 4-5-1.