Dallas Stars: Mike Smith

Stars-Coyotes photos

March, 21, 2012
Here is a link to some photos of last night's Dallas Stars-Phoenix Coyotes game. You can see all the photos by Shannon Byrne here or by clicking below on the image of Mike Ribeiro scoring the lone goal of the shootout against Coyotes goalie Mike Smith.

#63 Mike Ribeiro makes a nice move on #41 Mike Smith and scores in the shootout.Dallas Stars vs. Phoenix Coyotes, March 20, 2012.

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars got an important two points Tuesday night, but they weren’t thrilled with how they got them. The Stars blew a 3-1 lead in the third period before beating the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 in a shootout at American Airlines Center.

“I think we did good things but we’ve got to find ways to keep that two-goal lead and not give those guys a chance to get back into the game,” said Stars forward Michael Ryder, who scored two goals and had one assist. “We made a couple mistakes, a couple turnovers that ended up in our net. We came here for two points and we got that, but they got one.”

The win kept the Stars, who snapped a two-game losing streak, in first place in the Pacific Division and third in the Western Conference. The Stars are one point ahead of both Los Angeles and Phoenix in the division and they are now three points ahead of San Jose.

The Stars got a big game from their top line of Loui Eriksson, Mike Ribeiro and Ryder, who scored all three goals for Dallas. Ribeiro also scored the lone goal of the shootout.

“We’ve been working well lately for the past while and we’re reading off each other and working hard and trying to do the right things and it seems to be going in for us,” said Ryder.

Kari Lehtonen was superb in goal, making 27 saves in regulation and overtime and stopping all three shooters in the shootout.

“He gave us the points,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said of Lehtonen’s performance.

The Stars struck first in the game, getting a goal from Eriksson off the rush just 2:12 into the game. The Coyotes answered a little more than three minutes later on a goal by Lauri Korpikoski.

The Stars took a 2-1 lead on a power play goal by Ryder at the 5:26 mark and less than 30 seconds later there was a major scrum after Phoenix captain Shane Doan caught Stars forward Jamie Benn in the head with an elbow. A total of 64 penalty minutes were handed out, including fighting majors to Doan and Stars captain Brenden Morrow.

Gulutzan did not like Doan’s hit on Benn.

“I think it is a suspendable offense. He targeted the head with his elbow,” Gulutzan said. “The league will look at it for sure and decide. But it's deliberate."

Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said he hadn’t seen a replay of the play yet.

“I haven’t looked at it yet but we’ll see how that goes,” Tippett said.

The Stars were able to extend their lead later in the period when Ryder got to a puck in the crease and put it past Coyotes goalie Mike Smith to make it a 3-1 game.

But the Coyotes came back in the third, getting a shorthanded tally from defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and then a power play goal by Ray Whitney to tie the game.

“We shot ourselves in the foot,” said Gulutzan. “We couldn’t get it through our heads that turning the puck over is dangerous.”

Lehtonen came up with big saves down the stretch and in overtime, including a great pad save on Ekman-Larsson in the extra period.

“Yeah, that’s a really good save,” said Ekman-Larsson. “I think I hit the pad there, so yeah, almost.”

In the shootout, Lehtonen stopped Mikkel Boedker, Whitney and Doan.

“I was pretty comfortable there,” Lehtonen said. “We look at lots of tape and have a little clue of what they are doing. I was happy it worked out that way.”

Ribeiro scored the lone goal for the Stars, eluding an aggressive move by Smith and then slipping the puck into the net.

“I didn’t expect [Smith] to come out,” Ribeiro said. “I expected him maybe to poke check, but I guess he was nervous seeing what I was doing, but we shouldn’t have even been there. It should have been over way before that”


*The Stars lost defenseman Mark Fistric to a pulled muscle in the second period. He did not return to the game.

*Jamie Benn was banged up in overtime, going into the corner boards hard during a collision with Phoenix forward Antoine Vermette. Benn left the game, but then returned for the shootout. He appeared to be fine after the game.

*Adam Pardy, Ryan Garbutt, Tomas Vincour, Toby Petersen and Jordie Benn were healthy scratches for the Dallas Stars.

*The Coyotes were without RW Radim Vrbata (illness) and LW Taylor Pyatt (upper body) for Tuesday’s game.

*Tuesday’s attendance was 17,012.
DALLAS -- While the Dallas Stars will be healthy coming into tonight’s game, it is a different story for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Right wing Radim Vrbata (undisclosed) and left Taylor Pyatt (undisclosed) both left Sunday’s game at Edmonton and are game-time decisions for tonight, according to Phoenix coach Dave Tippett. Vrbata leads Phoenix with 30 goals this season. Defenseman Adrian Aucoin (lower body) is out.

Mike Smith was the first goaltender off the ice for the Coyotes and should be the starter for the Phoenix. No surprise there.

Tonight’s Stars-Coyotes game is one of two big showdowns in the Pacific Division. The Sharks and Kings are playing in Los Angeles as well. The Stars (1st Pacific/3rd West) and Coyotes (2nd Pacific/7th West) are tied at 83 points. The Kings (3rd Pacific/9th West) and Sharks (4th Pacific/10th West) are tied at 82 points.

Tippett has been in this business a long time, and he’s never seen the standing as tight as what’s going on this season.

“The Pacific Division is as tight as it is going to get,” Tippett said. “We always talk about there are two ways to make the playoffs, win your division or make the top eight. I never envisioned them both being so close.”

Turnover costly in Stars' OT loss

February, 18, 2012

The turnover bug struck the Dallas Stars again Saturday night, and it cost them an important point in the Western Conference playoff race. Turnovers led to both Phoenix goals, including Radim Vrbata’s game-winner 1:15 into the overtime as the Stars lost 2-1 to the Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.

“We played hard, but we need results,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “It’s a results based business and we need results. We need to capitalize and we can’t make a mistake at the end to give away a point.”

After Steve Ott won a defensive zone draw, Stars defenseman Mark Fistric lost the puck behind the Dallas net and Ray Whitney centered the puck to a wide open Vrbata, who got Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen to go down and then lifted the puck over him and into the net.

“Unforced,” Gulutzan said of the turnover. “Gave it away.”

The loss denied the Stars a second consecutive win, and left them with a 4-4-2 record since the All-Star break. The Stars fell five points behind the seventh-seeded Coyotes, but did pull to within three points of eighth place in the Western Conference.

The tough loss spoiled an outstanding effort from Lehtonen, who stopped 31 of 33 shots in the game including all 11 he faced on five Phoenix power plays.

“Both goaltenders were really good, really good,” said Gulutzan. “It was a good hockey game. It’s a shame it had to end that way.”

Phoenix goalie Mike Smith won his seventh straight game, but had his shutout streak snapped at 171 minutes and 26 seconds.

“We gave up too many chances, but Smitty cleaned those up,” said Tippett.

The Coyotes got the only goal of the first period. After an offensive zone turnover by Michael Ryder, the Coyotes had an odd-man rush the other way and Mikkel Boedker scored on a shot from the right circle at the 13:13 mark.

The Stars got the equalizer on the power play in the second period. The Stars had 1:16 of five-on-three time, but couldn’t cash in on the two-man advantage. But while on the remaining five-on-four, Ryder scored on the rebound of a Mike Ribeiro shot at 12:37 of the second.

The Coyotes, who improved to 7-0-1 over their last eight games, stayed within two points of sixth-seeded Chicago.

“Huge points for us tonight, huge points against a team chasing us in the standings,” said Coyotes Dave Tippett. “But we’ve got to find a way to make our game better than what it was tonight.”

For the Stars, they liked the effort but not the result.

“I think we played a really good game. The game could have gone either way,” said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas.” We had good chances, their goalie played well and they had some good chances and our goalie played well. Overall we’ve got to be pleased with our effort and the way we showed up.

“We would have liked to get the two points, but we’ve got a big game tomorrow night against Nashville at home. We’ve got to forget about this one and move on.”


*The Coyotes clinched the season series with the Stars by improving to 3-0-2 (8 points). The Stars are 2-2-1 (5 points). The teams will play one more time this season.

*The Stars lost in four-on-four overtime for the first time this season. They are now 3-1.

*The Stars were 1-5 on the power play and 5-5 on the penalty kill in the game.

*Ryan Garbutt made his NHL debut for the Stars. He played 5:41, had three shots on goal and three hits.

*Jamie Benn (leg), Sheldon Souray (foot) and Brenden Morrow (neck/shoulder) were out for Dallas.

*Toby Petersen was the lone healthy scratch for Dallas.

*The Coyotes lost centers Martin Hanzal and Kyle Chipchura during the game.

Coyotes down Stars in OT, 2-1

February, 18, 2012
Radim Vrbata’s goal 1:15 into overtime lifted the Phoenix Coyotes to a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena. The loss dropped the Stars to 4-4-2 since the All-Star break, but with the point earned in the game the Stars moved to within three points of eighth place in the Western Conference.

Michael Ryder scored the lone goal for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 of 33 shots. The Stars fell to 3-1 in four-on-four overtime this season. Mike Smith stopped 30 of 31 shots for the Coyotes, who improved to 7-0-1 over their last eight games.

First period

The Stars had the first good chance of the game, but Coyotes goalie Mike Smith made a sharp glove save on Michael Ryder’s close range bid 4:12 into the game.

Phoenix got the game’s first power play at the 5:50 mark and Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen came up big, making four saves including three on close range bids by Martin Hanzal.

The Stars thwarted a second Phoenix power play midway through the period, but the Coyotes got on the board following a Dallas turnover.

After Michael Ryder lost the puck in the Phoenix zone, the Coyotes headed the other way on an odd-man rush and Mikkel Boedker scored from the right circle at the 13:31 mark.

The Stars went on their first power play with 3:33 left in the period, but couldn’t cash in. Alex Goligoski had a point blank chance off a rebound, but Smith made the stop.

Second period

The Stars thought they had tied the game at 7:40 of the second when Tomas Vincour had scored off a rebound, but the goal was waved off because Adam Burish played the puck with a high stick just prior to the goal.

The Stars got 1:16 of five-on-three power play time midway through the period. They didn’t score on the two-man advantage but did cash in on the five-on-four when Michael Ryder scored off the rebound of a Mike Ribeiro shot to tie the game at 1-1 with 7:23 left in the period.

The Stars were able to kill off Phoenix’s fourth power play of the game late in the period and then went on their fifth of the game with 20 seconds left in the second, leaving them 1:40 of power play time to open the third period.

The Stars lost center Tom Wandell briefly during the period after he was hit in the mouth with a puck. He received some stitches in his lip and returned to the game.

Third period

The Stars weren’t able to take advantage of their power play to open the third period. They did have a lot of pressure early in the period but couldn’t get many quality chances on Smith.

Phoenix got its fifth power play chance of the game with 9:52 left in the game, but they couldn’t take advantage. Boedker did put a shot off the post.

The Coyotes lost center Kyle Chipchura in the third period. Coyotes center Martin Hanzal left the game in the second period and did not return. Both are listed as day-to-day.


Phoenix scored 1:15 into overtime to get the 2-1 victory. After the Stars won a defensive zone faceoff, Mark Fistric turned the puck over behind the Dallas net and Ray Whitney centered it to Radim Vrbata, who got Lehtonen to go down and then lifted the puck over him and into the net.

Stars lineup



Lehtonen (starter)

Injured: Benn (leg), Souray (foot), Morrow (shoulder/neck)

Scratched: Petersen

Stars-Coyotes Preview

February, 17, 2012
Dallas Stars at Phoenix Coyotes
Saturday February 18
7:00 p.m.
TV: TXA 21
Radio: KTCK-1310 (AM)

About the Stars

The Stars (29-25-3) snapped a three-game winless streak with a 3-2 overtime win over Calgary at American Airlines Center on Thursday. Mike Ribeiro’s highlight reel goal with 2:59 left in overtime gave the Stars the extra point in the game.

“To be able to get the two points, that’s the main thing,” Ribeiro said. “It doesn’t matter how you get them nowadays, it’s just get some points.”

The win helped the Stars keep pace in the playoff race. They are four points behind both eighth-seeded Los Angeles and seventh-seeded Phoenix.

The Stars lost center Jamie Benn during the game when he was cut on the leg by a skate. Benn, who is day-to-day, is expected to miss at least the next two games.

Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 25 of 27 shots in Thursday’s game, will start in goal against Phoenix on Saturday.

Injuries: C Jamie Benn (leg), D Sheldon Souray (foot) and LW Brenden Morrow (neck/shoulder) are out.

About the Coyotes

The Coyotes (28-21-9) won 1-0 at Los Angeles Thursday to tie the Kings in points at 65 and move into seventh place in the Western Conference based on the regulation/overtime wins tiebreaker. Mike Smith stopped 28 shots for his second consecutive shutout and his fourth of the season for the Coyotes, who are 6-0-1 in their last seven games.

“We're deserving to win right now,” Smith said. “At the start of the season, maybe we lost some games we didn't deserve to win. But right now we're finding ways to win, and we're doing it the right way. That makes it feel that much better. It was another great job in front of me.”

Radim Vrbata scored the game’s only goal, his 27th of the season.

The Coyotes lost defenseman Rostislav Klesla to an upper body injury during the game. He is day-to-day.

Injuries: D Derek Morris (groin), D Rostislav Klesla (upper body) and LW Taylor Pyatt (upper body) are questionable. D David Schlemko (foot) is out.

Series notes

*This is the fifth of six meetings between the two teams this season.

*Dallas is 2-2-0 in the season series.

*Phoenix is 2-0-2 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

Statistical tidbits

*The Stars are 4-4-1 since the All-Star break.

*The Coyotes are 6-1-1 since the All-Star break.

*Over their last six games the Coyotes have allowed one goal four times and shut out the opposition the other two times.

*Over his last six starts, Coyotes goalie Mike Smith is 6-0-0 with a 0.99 goals against average and .968 save percentage.

*The Coyotes are 16-16 on the penalty kill over the last five games.

*Stars forward Adam Burish has goals in consecutive games for the first time since February 2009.

*Stars forward Michael Ryder has points in four straight games (2 goals, 2 assists).