Game Preview: Phoenix Coyotes @ Dallas Stars

Phoenix Coyotes @ Dallas Stars

5:00 PM – October 10, 2011

American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

Redemption will be on the minds of both the Phoneix Coyotes (0-1-0) and the Dallas Stars (1-1-0) in tonight’s game. Phoenix is coming off a 6-3 beating courtesy of the San Jose Sharks while the Stars are returning home after a 5-2 whipping at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Stars were absolutely dominated in Saturday’s game, getting outshot 25-9 after two very lackluster periods before getting a little more pressure in the third, finishing with 21 shots compared to Chicago’s 31.

Kari Lehtonen sat out that game after having a superb season opener where he stopped 37 of 38 shots. His opposite number across the ice will be former Stars goaltender Mike Smith, who is in his first year as the top goalie for the Coyotes. The Coyotes, as you’ll remember, traded away top goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov in the offseason to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Stars should have an easier time now against Phoenix, as Bryzgalov went 3-1-0 last year against Dallas with an excellent 2.44 goals-against average in five games played.

It’s very early in the season, but a big sticking point in this game could be the special teams. With their new line-up penalty killers, the Stars were a stellar 10 of 11 on the PK after their first two games against Chicago. Phoenix had a great day on their power-play against the Sharks in their first game of the season, going 3 of 7 with Shane Doan scoring two of their goals. 

Game Notes:

  • Dallas will once again be without a pair of defensemen, Nick Grossman (groin) and Adam Pardy (ribs). Both guys are expected to return for Thursday’s game against St. Louis.
  • Adam Burish made his season debut in Saturday’s game against Chicago. He had 13:02 minutes of ice time and assisted on Vernon Fiddler’s goal and dished out three hits. He earned himself a 10 minute penalty and game misconduct with 11 seconds left in the game when he was involved in a skirmish.
  • With Burish’s return, a few guys saw a large reduction in ice time. Fiddler and Tomas Vincour both had four less minutes and Jake Dowell found himself on the bench for an extra two minutes.
  • Steve Ott continues to dish out hits, getting six more in the away game against the ‘Hawks. After two games, he’s number one in the league.
  • Dallas continues to be a very physical team. They dished out 37 hits in game one and then threw out 32 more in game two against Chicago. Phoenix had 33 hits in their first game this season against San Jose. Expect a lot of hitting tonight.
  • Jamie Benn continues to do pretty well in the face-off circle. He somehow only took four of them during the Stars last game, but he won each time. 
  • Michael Ryder is getting shots on goal, three more on Saturday, but he still hasn’t been able to put in into the net. It’s just a matter of time though as he keeps getting solid shots.