GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Coyotes entered Saturday night's game against the Dallas Stars as the only NHL team that had yet to play an overtime game this season.
They still haven’t after Coyotes forward Olli Jokinen was robbed by a kick save by Stars goaltender Marty Turco with eight seconds left that preserved a 3-2 victory for Dallas at Jobing.com Arena.
Steven Reinprecht and Kevin Porter scored second-period goals, but it wasn’t enough for Phoenix in front of 15,508 fans at Jobing.com Arena.
“We didn’t fire on all cylinders tonight,” Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said. “We had one line and one player that played really well and we didn’t have enough out of everybody else tonight. We didn’t get enough offensive opportunities from the entire team.”
Loui Eriksson scored twice for the Stars, who snapped a three-game winless streak. Mark Parrish also scored a power-play goal for the Stars, who remain fifth in the Pacific Division after the victory.
“We needed this game very badly,” Stars Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “Tonight, we tried to rely on everyone.”
The Coyotes didn’t muster a serious scoring chance in the third period until eight seconds were left and Gretzky said they didn’t have the necessary urgency to complete a comeback.
“There wasn’t much creation of offense out there tonight,” defenseman Ed Jovanovski said.
Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 16 saves for the Coyotes, while Turco recorded 25.
“We had no urgency whatsoever,” Gretzky said.
Dallas scored late in the first period.
Danny (Carcillo) played exceptionally well tonight. He had a lot of spirit and energy. - Wayne Gretzky
With 2:54 remaining in the period, Eriksson took a pass from Mike Ribeiro, then slid a backhanded shot past Bryzgalov to give Dallas a 1-0 lead. Stephane Robidas recorded the secondary assist.
The Coyotes tied the score early in the second period with the help of Keith Yandle. The young defenseman brought the puck up the ice, stooped short in the right circle and fed a pass to a streaking Reinprecht, who finished with a nice backhanded shot for his third goal of the season 2:32 into the period.
Stars forward Mark Parrish gave the Stars their second lead of the game on a power play. Parrish tipped in a Sergei Zubov shot in the slot for his fourth goal of the season to give Dallas a 2-1 lead 8:13 into the second period.
Trying to energize the crowd, Coyotes forward Daniel Carcillo, who returned to the lineup after missing the past two games, challenged Stars forward Steve Ott to a fight, but the linesmen stopped it before anything came about. After both players sat two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct, Carcillo wouldn’t be denied and the two players eventually fought.
“Danny (Carcillo) played exceptionally well tonight,” Gretzky said. “He had a lot of spirit and energy. It was a good fight. I thought he had a couple scoring opportunities and good hits. He played a very solid hockey game tonight and it was good to see him have a good game.”
Eriksson scored his second goal of the game with 54.9 seconds remaining in the second period when he tapped in a nice backhanded pass from Toby Petersen after the original shot on goal by Ribeiro. It was Eriksson’s team-leading eighth goal of the season and gave Dallas a 3-1 lead.
Two rookies helped Phoenix respond quickly.
Driving down the right side of the ice, Mikkel Boedker laced a pass to Kevin Porter, which bounced off both of his skates and into the net. After video review, the goal stood for Porter, and the Stars' lead was cut to 3-2 with 38 seconds remaining in the period.
“Hanzal, Porter, and Boedker were out best line tonight,” Gretzky said. “They played really well, all three of them.”
• The Coyotes outhit the Stars 27-22.
• Jokinen recorded a game-high five shots on goal.
• Defenseman Zbynek Michalek played a game-high 26:07.
• Captain Shane Doan played in his 899th career game. On Tuesday, he will become the third player in Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise history to eclipse the 900 games mark. Defenseman Teppo Numminen (1,098) and forward Thomas Steen (950) are ranked one and two, respectively, in games played.
• Gretzky scratched Brian McGrattan, Daniel Winnik and David Hale on Saturday night.