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Monday, March 19, 2012
Stars-Coyotes Preview

By Mark Stepneski

Phoenix Coyotes at Dallas Stars
Tuesday, March 20
7:00 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (39-28-5) are coming off a 4-1 loss to Chicago on Friday. It was the second straight loss for the Stars following a six-game winning streak and 11-game points streak. Chicago scored two goals in the first 1:42 of the game to take the early lead and then two goals early in the third period to put the game away.

“We put ourselves in a hole there, and you never want to do that against a good team like Chicago,” Benn said. “We did a better job in the second, but had another bad start in the third that crushed us. We shied away from our game a bit. We need to play the simple game, get pucks deep, and win the blue lines. We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot with bad starts.”

The Stars head into Tuesday’s game in a four-way battle San Jose, Phoenix and Los Angeles for the Pacific Division title. They are tied with the Coyotes at 83 points and have one game in hand.

“We’ve just got worry about our games and what we can control,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow. “That’s Phoenix on Tuesday.”

Kari Lehtonen is scheduled to start in goal for the Stars on Tuesday.

Injuries: RW Radek Dvorak (ankle) and D Sheldon Souray (lower body) are probable.

About the Coyotes

The Coyotes (36-26-11) are coming off a 3-2 shootout win in Edmonton on Sunday. The Coyotes overcame a 2-0 deficit, scoring two goals in the third period to force overtime and then won the game in the shootout.

“You look at the way the game went and we weren't playing the way we needed to be," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. “They played really, well but we were just able to find a way. We're feeling a bit fortunate right now.”

Coyotes coach Dave Tippett earned his 400th career victory in Sunday’s game.

“401 on Tuesday would work for me,” Tippett said.

The Coyotes are 2-1-0 on their current road trip, which concludes Tuesday in Dallas.

Injuries: RW Radim Vrbata (undisclosed) and LW Taylor Pyatt (undisclosed) are questionable. D Adrian Aucoin (lower body) is day-to-day. C Kyle Chipchura (wrist) is out.

Series notes

*This is the sixth and final meeting between the two teams.

*The Stars are 2-2-1 in the season series.

*The Coyotes are 3-0-2 in the season series.

*October 10, at Dallas: Stars 2, Coyotes 1 (SO)
*October 25, at Phoenix: Star3, Coyotes 2 (OT)
*November 26, at Phoenix: Coyotes 3, Stars 0
*February 7, at Dallas: Coyotes 4, Stars 1
*February 18, at Phoenix: Coyotes 2, Stars 1 (OT)

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars have six goals over their last four games.

*The Stars haven’t had a power play chance in the last two games and are 1-9 on the power play over the last five games.

*The Coyotes have the 30th ranked power play in the league and are 2-20 on the PP over their last eight games.

*The Stars are 40-42 (95.2%) on the penalty kill over the last 13 games.

*The Coyotes are 26-28 (92.9%) on the penalty kill over the last nine games.

*Stars forward Jamie Benn has four goals in the last six games.

*Coyotes forward Ray Whitney is on a four-game points streak (one goal, five assists).