The Coyotes will shoot for a second win in three nights tonight when they play the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. The puck drops at 5:30 p.m. (Arizona time).
Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
is expected to make his 10th start of the young season two nights after Phoenix beat Nashville, 4-3, at Jobing.com Arena. Newcomer Kari Lehtonen likely will start in goal for Dallas.
Tonight's game will be the first of six between these Pacific Division rivals this season and the seventh for Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett against his former club. The Coyotes posted a 4-2-0 record vs. Dallas in 2009-10 in Tippett's first season with Phoenix. Tippett, of course, was the head coach of the Stars from 2002-09.
"They're a good team," Tippett said about the Stars, who have earned 14 out of a possible 22 points. "I know a lot of those players well and they have some people that are high-skill people, and if you make mistakes they're going to capitalize on them. I haven't watched a lot of their games this season, but they're a team that can be very dangerous. "
The Coyotes (4-4-3) will again be looking for some of their top-six forwards to score goals. Shane Doan
, Ray Whitney
and Wojtek Wolski
all have scored zero goals through the first 11 games.
Defenseman Ed Jovanovski
leads the team with nine points thanks, in part, to his first NHL hat trick on Wednesday vs. Nashville.
"That was awesome," Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle
said. "It's always fun when a teammate scores a hat trick but it's even more fun when a fellow defenseman does it. You can't help but feel a sense of pride back there when another defenseman scores three goals in a game."
The Stars (7-4-0) will enter the game surrounded by the pleasant vibe they established by beating Pittsburgh, 5-2, on home ice on Wednesday night.
“It was another really strong outing for us and I think things are going in the right direction,” Stars Head Coach Marc Crawford told the team's official Web site. “You build confidence when you get results and right now, our results are very positive. I thought we carried the play, we generated a lot of chances, and we had some superb performances.”
Dallas is winning games despite its mediocre play on special teams. The Stars rank 24th in power-play efficiency (12.5 percent) and 28th in penalty killing (71.4 percent).
Stars center Brad Richards ranks tied for second in the NHL with 11 assists and ninth in points with 15. Defenseman Stephane Robidas is the NHL leader in plus/minus at plus-12. Left wing Loui Eriksson is second in the league at plus-11.
Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington will drop the ceremonial first puck at tonight's game.