By Dave Vest GLENDALE – The Coyotes will conclude a three-game homestand tonight when they host the Dallas Stars at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix (11-7-3) will enter the game less than 24 hours after being blanked by Vancouver, 5-0, on Friday night.
Mike Smith is expected to start in goal tonight for the Coyotes, who will be looking to avenge two shootout losses to the Stars this season. In both of those games, the Stars scored the game-tying goal on Smith within the final 1:01 of regulation.
The Coyotes and Stars have played six consecutive one-goal games dating to last season, with Dallas holding a 3-1-2 edge in those contests.
Phoenix will enter the game with the fourth-best penalty-killing unit in the NHL at 88.7 percent. The Coyotes have allowed just five power-play goals in the past 20 games and have not allowed a power-play goal at home in seven consecutive games dating to Oct. 25 vs. the Stars.
The Coyotes are expecting center Daymond Langkow to return to the lineup tonight. Langkow, who has missed the past eight games because of a death in his family, has notched three goals and five assists in 13 games this season.
Photo by Getty Images.
The Stars (13-8-1) also played Friday and lost to Toronto, 4-3, in a shootout on home ice.
Goalie Kari Lehtonen turned aside 20 of Toronto’s 23 shots.
After allowing the opposition more than 30 shots in nine consecutive games, the Stars have allowed fewer than 25 shots in the past three games.
Left wing Jamie Benn has notched 23 points in 22 games so far this season and is a plus-10. He has dished out 17 assists; only three players in the NHL have more helpers.
Dallas will play minus captain Brenden Morrow, whom they placed on the injured-reserve list on Saturday because of an upper-body injury he suffered in a game against the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 21.
Center Martin Hanzal was the lone bright spot for the Coyotes in Friday's 5-0 loss to Vancouver. Hanzal took three shots on goal, delivered five hits and won 18 of 24 faceoffs.
Stars center Mike Ribeiro has notched a point in each of the past four games, and ranks 26th in the NHL with 13 assists.
The Coyotes have allowed the fewest first-period goals (nine) in the NHL.
Before becoming head coach of the Coyotes, Dave Tippett led the Dallas Stars to five berths in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in six seasons as their head coach.
Tonight's game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona Plus. Click here for channel information. The game will also be broadcast on XTRA Sports 910 (AM). A link to the radio broadcast will be provided at phoenixcoyotes.com at 6 p.m. For in-game updates via Twitter, follow @coyotesgameday.