By Dave Vest
The Coyotes will play the second game of a season-opening three-game trip today against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center. The puck drops at 3 p.m. (AZ time).
Today’s game is the first of six between these Pacific Division rivals. The Coyotes beat the Stars four times in 2010-11, including twice in Dallas.
Goalie Mike Smith
is expected to start for the Coyotes (0-1-0), who lost their season opener to the San Jose Sharks, 6-3, on Saturday night at HP Pavilion. Smith, who began his NHL career with Dallas, stopped 46 of 52 saves in that game, his first with Phoenix.
Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said sloppy defense was the key to the loss at San Jose. He said that must change quickly.
“If we’re not a strong defensive team we’re going to have a hard time having success,” Tippett said.
Tippett has led Phoenix to an 8-4-0 record vs. Dallas, the team he coached before joining the Coyotes in 2009-10.
The Coyotes scored three power-play goals in Saturday’s game, and their 42.9 percent success rate with a man advantage ranks third in the NHL.
The Coyotes on Monday placed defenseman Michal Rozsival
on the injured reserve list because of an upper-body injury suffered in Saturday’s game. David Schlemko
is expected to replace him in the lineup. Also Monday, the Coyotes recalled defenseman Chris Summers
from the American Hockey League to replace Rozsival on the roster.
Forwards Patrick O’Sullivan and Petteri Nokelainen
, who were healthy scratches on Saturday, might play today as Tippett looks to find a better offensive mix than in the season opener.
The Stars have started the season 1-1-0 under new Head Coach Glen Gulutzan.
|Stars captain Brenden Morrow and Coyotes captain Shane Doan. Photo by Getty Images.
"There's a lot of new things that we’re learning every day," Stars backup goalie Andrew Raycroft said after the team’s loss to Chicago on Saturday. "But that’s the key in this League, you don't let losses linger and you go out and adjust and get better the next game. This was Game 2 and the idea is to get better for Game 3 and we know we can."
Kari Lehtonen is expected to start in goal for the Stars, who are wearing a number “37” decal on their helmets this season to honor their former teammate, Karlis Skrastins, who was involved in the tragic Russian airplane accident in September. Skrastins wore number 37 in his two seasons in Dallas.
Stars captain Brenden Morrow has notched more points (44) in his career against the Coyotes than against any other NHL team.
Stars forward Vernon Fiddler notched his first goal for the Stars in Saturday’s loss. Fiddler signed with Dallas as a free agent in the off-season after two seasons with the Coyotes.