Game Review: Phoenix Coyotes @ Dallas Stars

Final SO

Dallas 2 – Phoenix 1

Sometimes, it’s better to be luck than to be good. With the Stars down a goal and time winding down, Loui Eriksson managed to deflect a puck into the net with 27 seconds left. The goal put the game into overtime and a subsequent shootout, which Dallas managed to win. Dallas is now 2-1-0 on the season with both wins coming at home. Phoenix drops to 0-1-1.

The Stars were outplayed for nearly the entire game. Whether it was due to the sparse crowd or just lack of energy, Dallas was constantly on the back foot and just looked horrible on offense for all three periods. They continued to take stupid penalties, including two too many men on the ice penalties. That makes three of those in the last two games and just shows the lack of discipline.

Each team was on the power-play seven times. The Stars’ penalty-kill was excellent again as the unit went 6 of 7 on the PK. The power play, however, was just absolutely atrocious. Seven times the Stars were on the PP and seven times the Stars looked like they had no idea what they were doing. There was sparse possession of the puck and no sustained pressure on the offensive end. Dallas could just never get set up.

Kari Lehtonen was heroic again in this game as he continued to get bombarded by shots, this time saving 40 out of 41. If he can somehow manage to play like this through the entire season, there will be award talks going his way. The game could’ve easily been 4-1 in the Coyote’s favor if not for Lehtonen.

Phoenix scored on the power play six minutes into the third period when a Martin Hanzel shot handcuffed Lehtonen and he lost the rebound right in front of the net. Radim Vrbata pounced on the loose puck and shot into an open net with Kari out of position.

Dallas spent the rest of the third stuggling to get pressure on Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith before they somehow managed to score with 27 seconds left in the game. The puck was shot into the offensive zone to Smith’s left and made its way around the boards. Steve Ott was able to get to the loose puck and passed to Sheldon Souray, who was camped at the blue line. Souray fired one of his cannon shots towards the net, which was tipped into the net by Loui Eriksson, finally putting Dallas on the scoresheet and sending the game into overtime.

The OT had a worrisome moment as Brendon Morrow took a high-sticking penalty that should have never been called. Dallas managed to stop the Coyotes power play and sent the game into a shootout.

In the shootout, Kari stoned 2 of the 3 Coyote skaters and Eriksson and Mike Ribeiro scored for the Stars, thus pulling victory from the jaws of defeat for Dallas.

The Stars next game is against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, October 13.



Notes and Observations:

  • With his assist on Eriksson’s game-tying goal, Sheldon Souray has now notched a point in each game of the season so far. He lead Dallas in points with 3.
  • Dallas was badly outshot 41-25 in this game. In his two games so far, Lehtonen has faced 79 shots, saving 77 of them. He’s number 1 in the NHL in both categories. Columbus Blue Jacket goalie Steve Mason has also faced 79 shots, but he has played in 3 games compared to 2 for Lehtonen.
  • With their 0 of 7 on the PP against Phoenix, the Stars are now 1 of 14 on the PP for the season.
  • Trevor Daly got major ice time in this game, playing 27:14 minutes, second only to Stephane Robidas’ 27:27. Robidas played 7 minutes of PK time.
  • Nick Grossman (hip) and Adam Pardy (ribs) missed this game due to injuries. Krys Barch and Toby Petersen were healthy scratches.
  • The official attendance was 6,306 but it looked like even less than that. With the Columbus Day holiday and the Rangers playoff game, there were very few people out there to watch the Stars. This was the least attended game in the history of the AAC.

Game Stats and Scoring Summary


   Dallas    Phoenix
Score 2 1
Shots 25 41
Penalty Minutes 15 17
Power Plays 0 of 7 1 of 7
Blocked Shots 20 17
Hits 25 24
Faceoff Wins 30 33


1st Period: No goals

2nd Period: No goals

3rd Period:

  • 5:55 Radim Vrbata (1) (Power Play)               Dallas 0 – Phoenix 1
    Assists: Martin Hanzal, Shane Doan
  • 19:32 Loui Eriksson (1)                                 Dallas 1 – Phoenix 1
    Assists: Sheldon Souray, Steve Ott

OT: No goals


  • Shootout attempt by Patrick O’Sullivan saved by Kari Lehtonen        Dallas 0 – Phoenix 0
  • Shootout GOAL scored by Loui Eriksson on Mike Smith          Dallas 1 – Phoenix 0  
  • Shootout attempt by Radim Vrbata saved by Kari Lehtonen             Dallas 1 – Phoenix 0
  • Shootout attempt by Michael Ryder saved by Mike Smith                 Dallas 1 – Phoenix 0
  • Shootout GOAL scored by Shane Doan on Kari Lehtonen        Dallas 1 – Phoenix 1
  • Shootout GOAL scored by Mike Ribeiro on Mike Smith            Dallas 2 – Phoenix 1