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Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Stars fall to Coyotes, 4-1

By Mark Stepneski

The Dallas Stars lost a key game against one of the teams they are battling for a playoff spot, falling 4-1 to the Phoenix Coyotes 4-1 at American Airlines Center Tuesday night.

The Stars dropped to 11th place in the West, two points out of the final playoff spot.

Michael Ryder scored the lone goal for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 20 shots. The Stars were 0-4 on the power play, and missed on a four-minute power play with the game tied 1-1 in the second period.

Phoenix won its third straight game and for the fourth time in its last five.

First period

The Coyotes scored 4:43 into the game when a Keith Yandle shot from the left point deflected off traffic and past Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

The Coyotes outshot the Stars 9-8 in the period. Neither team had a power play.

Second period

The Stars tied the game at 1-1 at 2:34 of the second third when Michael Ryder ripped a shot past Coyotes goalie Mike Smith from the right circle off the rush.

Thirty seconds later, Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen kept it a 1-1 game by making a spectacular glove save on Phoenix forward Ray Whitney’s point blank chance.

The Stars got a 4:00 minute power play after Mikkel Boedker took a double minor for high sticking Philip Larsen. The Stars had a lot of zone time and five shots on goal, but couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity.

The Coyotes took the lead with 5:30 left in the period. Shortly after the Stars turned the puck over in their own end, Rusty Klesla centered the puck and Radim Vrbata directed it into the net to put Phoenix up 2-1.

The Coyotes went on their first power play with 4:11 left in the second, but they couldn’t take advantage.

The Stars outshot the Coyotes 11-8 in the second and held a 19-17 advantage heading into the second intermission.

Third period

The Coyotes extended their lead to 3-1 at the 5:41 mark of the third when Michal Rozsival set up Raffi Torres off the rush and Torres scored from the left circle.

The Stars had a power play, their third of the game, with 11:08 remaining, but couldn’t take advantage and the Coyotes maintained their two-goal lead.

Derek Morris scored off a blast from the slot with 3:51 remaining to put the Coyotes up 4-1.

Stars lineup



Lehtonen (starter)

Injured: Morrow (neck/shoulder)
Scratched: Fistric, Dowell