Left wing Antoune Roussel's tie-breaking goal in the third period
helped the Stars to their fifth victory in seven games, a 3-1 win
over the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.
"It's nice to be on a roll right now," said Dallas center Ryan
Garbutt, who scored an empty-net goal with 26.7 seconds remaining.
"We've been playing hard every night, using our speed. Having fun at
the same time. It's just working hard in your own end. Guys are
coming to play every night. It's pretty fun to be a part of."
The pivotal goal was set up when Roussel, who scored his first
career goal against Phoenix in Dallas last year, took a pass from
Garbutt after a Coyotes' turnover at center ice. Roussel then beat
goaltender Mike Smith on a slap shot from the deep slot for his
ninth goal of the season and a 2-1 lead at 3:25 of the third period.
Garbutt later added his 11th goal of the season.
"We knew it was one of the biggest games of the year," Roussel said.
"We didn't start it the way we wanted, but in the third period we
had some great chances and got away with the win."
Center Antoine Vermette opened the scoring with the Coyotes' only
goal midway through the second period, his 21st of the season, while
extending his point streak to eight games. He has eight goals in his
last 10 games.
"It was really disappointing," Vermette said. "We have to find a way
to win these games. It came down to a few plays we'd like to get
back. We just didn't play well enough."
The Stars (26-21-9) are only two points out of the eighth position
in the Western Conference standings, trailing Vancouver by two
points and Phoenix by one. They were 10 points out after six-game
losing that ended Jan. 12.
Dallas has given up seven regulation goals in its last seven games,
and the Stars have out-shot eight of their last nine opponents. They
are 6-3-2 since stopping their six-game losing streak.
"We've been able to battle through," Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said.
"Tonight's a tough game, it could have gone either way. We generated
five or six really good opportunities and were able to push through.
Two teams that are pretty similar, and someone is going to take
advantage of an opportunity and win the game."
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Dallas center Shawn Horcuff scored his seventh goal on a power play
at 12:32 of the second period to counter Vermette's goal and tie the
game at 1.
Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen, who will represent Finland in the
Olympic Games, made 26 saves.
"I feel like the last seven, eight games, we've been getting a lot
better," Lehtonen said. "We've been the team that gets the most
chances, and that usually means that you have a really good chance
Smith made 37 saves for the Coyotes (26-20-10), who lost for the
second time in three games. Smith lost for only the second time in
14 career games against the Stars, dropping to 7-2-5 against them.
"It's execution," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "It's winning
one-on-one battles and doing the right things with the puck that
allow you to have attempts at the net. When you are not doing
either, your attempts go down."
NOTES: Dallas F Ray Whitney (1,310) and Coyotes F Shane Doan (1,289)
rank third and fourth in games played among active players after
skating against each other on Tuesday night. Whitney played two
seasons with Phoenix, getting 41 goals and 134 points in 157 games
with the Coyotes from 2010 to 2012. ... Coyotes C Mike Ribeiro met
his former teammates for the first time since leaving Dallas after
the 2011-12 season. Ribeiro spent last season with Washington, but
the Capitals did not play Dallas during the strike-shortened 2012-13
season. Ribeiro had 123 of his 200 career goals in 461 games with
the Stars from 2006-12. ... Phoenix prospect F Max Domi was the
Ontario Hockey League player of the week last week, scoring six
points in three games. Domi, son of 16-year NHL veteran Tie Domi,
was the Coyotes' first pick in the 2013 draft. He had 25 goals and
70 points in his first 44 games. ... The Coyotes are 19-5-3 in
February during the last three seasons. ... The Coyotes and Stars
played the first of their three scheduled games this season. They
will meet in Dallas on Saturday in the final game before the Olympic
break, and the Coyotes will host Dallas in the regular-season finale
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