Stars-Coyotes Preview

February, 17, 2012
2/17/12
9:34
PM CT
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).

Mark Stepneski

ESPNDallas.com
Mark Stepneski joined ESPNDallas.com in July 2010. A former news/special projects producer for KXAS-TV, he has run the Andrew's Dallas Stars Page website since 1997.

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