Game 56: Dallas Stars @ Phoenix Coyotes
8:00 PM CT, February 4, 2014
Jobing.com Arena; Glendale, Arizona
Coyotes (26-19-10, 62 pts)
The Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes usually provide no surprises for Stars fans. The trap-happy Coyotes are slightly different this season though. Instead of being able to rely on their defense to win games, the Yotes are in the top half of the league in goals and top 10 in power-play percentage. Meanwhile, their defense is in the bottom 10 in the league and giving up goals in bunches.
Like Dallas, the Coyotes have had a terrible start after the calendar flipped to 2014. They’ve lost 10 of the 16 games so far in 2014.
A fun thing to watch tonight is that the Stars get to see old buddy Mike Ribeiro, the current No. 1 center for the Yotes and their leader in points. Jeff Halpern is also there but there’s not much fanfare in that.
There are no injuries to speak of for the Coyotes. They’re completely healthy.
Doan – Hanzal – Vrbata
Korpikoski – Vermette – Boedker
Klinkhammer – Ribeiro – Moss
Bissonnette – Halpern – Chipchura
Ekman-Larsson – Michalek
Morris – Yandle
Schlemko – Murphy
Goalie – Mike Smith
Stars (25-21-9, 59 pts)
Dallas has done very well against the Pacific Division so far this year (11-2-2) and are definitely playing their best hockey since the end of December. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are both on point streaks of five games or more and are both entering the Olympic break on an absolute roll.
Cody Eakin and his line have been playing great defensive hockey, first with their shutdown of the Penguins top crew before another great effort against the high-flying Ducks.
The Stars are pretty healthy aside from the injury to Robidas. Robidas has been skating a bit though, and there’s a chance he could be back this season.
Jamie Benn – Seguin – Nichushkin
Peverley – Eakin – Cole
Roussel – Fiddler – Garbutt
Whitney – Horcoff – Chiasson
Goligoski – Daley
Jordie Benn – Dillon
Rome – Gonchar
Goalie – Kari Lehtonen