GLENDALE - Forward David Moss scored with 2:31 left in regulation and the Coyotes won their season finale, 2-1, over the Dallas Stars on Sunday night - a few games and a few days too late to make a Game No. 82 showdown with Dallas worth more than a moral victory.
It was Phoenix's first win since beating the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on March 27. Between victories the Coyotes went 0-4-3 - losing four of the seven games by one goal - and saw the Stars pass them to grab the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
"I was up awful early this morning having a cup of coffee and watching the sun rise, just thinking about how exciting this day could have been," Phoenix Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "Standing on the bench watching … that's a very hollow, frustrating game for a coach."
Thomas Greiss made 16 saves to earn his 10th win of the season, and the final one ever for the Phoenix Coyotes. The franchise will become the Arizona Coyotes for the 2014-15 season.
"You look through the season and you try to figure out where a point here or a point there could have made a difference and we didn't find it," said Phoenix captain Shane Doan, who scored his 23rd goal of the season in the second period. "We should have made the playoffs. You look at our team, and the only way you can say it is we weren't good enough. We have to find a way to score more goals up front."
Dallas played without many of its top players including captain Jamie Benn, defensemen Trevor Daley and Brendan Dillon, goaltender Kari Lehtonen and forward Ray Whitney. Tim Thomas made 29 stops in goal for the Stars.
Rookie Colton Sceviour scored early in the first period for Dallas, who headed straight to Anaheim after the game Sunday to prepare for their first-round playoff series with the Ducks. Dallas won two of three games against the Western Conference champs this season, scoring 11 goals in the process.
Dallas scored its only goal quickly. With Phoenix defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the box for slashing, Vernon Fiddler fed Sceviour with a pretty, no-look backhand pass in stride near the slot. Greiss tried to poke-check the puck away, but didn't get enough and Sceviour flipped the rolling puck over Greiss on the backhand 2:35 into the game for his eighth goal.
The Coyotes outshot the Stars 11-5 in the first period and got even 31 seconds into the second. Zbynek Michalek held a puck in at the point and put a low shot through traffic. Doan redirected the puck past Thomas for his 23rd goal of the season and third in the past four games.
It's the most goals for Doan since the 2008-09 season, when he had a career-high 31.
The score remained tied until Moss took a Martin Erat drop pass in the left circle and fired a wrist shot past Thomas for his eighth goal.
"We were able to get a win, which is a good way to end, but ultimately it's not where we want to be," Moss said.
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