Game Preview: Dallas Stars @ Phoenix Coyotes

Dallas Stars (6-2-0, 12 points) @ Phoenix Coyotes (3-3-1, 7 points)

9:00 PM – October 25, 2011 Arena, Glendale, Arizona

Before the Stars can get another shot at besting Jonathan Quick, they have to first play the Phoenix Coyotes. The game against Phoenix is the final game of their four game road trip, a trip that has thus far produced a 2-1 record.

Despite losing their previous game against the LA Kings, Stars fans have to be pleased by what they saw in that game. Dallas had one of their, if not the best, games of the season and were just unlucky enough to be facing the hottest goaltender in the league in Quick. 

Dallas outshot the Kings in every period and were able to get numerous scoring chances against Quick. Kari Lehtonen may have gotten rest during that game but Andrew Raycroft did his own Lehtonen impression, holding a shut-out until the final five minutes in the game. It was a fantastic game to watch and we can only hope that the Stars can keep up that level of play for an extended amount of time.

The first chance to see if they can keep up their solid play is against the Coyotes, a team that the Stars beat 2-1 earlier this season in a shootout. Phoenix is coming off a 5-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks, snapping a two-game losing streak.

Kari Lehtonen will be returning as the starting goalie and will look to keep his unbeaten record (poor Raycroft is responsible for both of the Stars losses this year). Lehtonen is the owner of a sparkling 1.48 goals-against average and a .957 save percentage and has been incredible so far this season.

If Lehtonen hopes to keep up his winning streak, the Stars need to help him out and try to shut down Shane Doan, who is the Coyotes leader in all those important offensive categories. He has three goals and five assists on the season.


Game Notes:

  •  Lehtonen may not have a shut-out yet this season, but he has not allowed more than two goals in any of his games. He was great in the first meeting between these two teams, stopping 40 of 41 shots and winning the shootout.
  • Mike Smith is expected to make the start against the Stars tonight. He was the starter in the earlier meeting this season and had a pretty nice game, allowing only one goal on 25 shots and losing in the shootout.
  • This is a meeting of two futile power-play teams. Phoenix is 1 for 16 in their last five games with the man-advantage. Dallas isn’t doing much better, scoring only twice in their last 14 power-play chances.
  • Dallas might be able to score more power-play goals if they were able to induce more penalties from their opponents. In the Stars’ last three games, Dallas has had 2,1 and 2 chances on the PP.
  • All of the Stars scoring streaks ended after that shut-out against Quick and the Kings.