By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – And just like that, the scoring slump is over.
Lauri Korpikoski notched two goals, and Matthew Lombardi and Scottie Upshall chipped in three assists apiece to lead the Coyotes to a resounding 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars Friday night at Jobing.com Arena.
Robert Lang, Adrian Aucoin and Zbynek Michalek also scored goals for Phoenix (14-11-1), which managed just one goal on 64 shots in losses at Edmonton and Calgary earlier this week.
“Getting goals has been an area of concern the past four or five games and I thought tonight we beared down on chances and we had a couple of guys step up and have good games," Upshall said.
The post-game celebration inside the Phoenix dressing room was tempered somewhat because three players didn't finish the game. Defenseman Ed Jovanovski and forward Vernon Fiddler suffered lower-body injuries and forward Peter Mueller suffered an upper-body injury. All are considered day-to-day.
Lang gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead when he wristed a shot from between the circles past Stars goalie Marty Turco at 10:01 of the first period.
Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov made 11 of his 30 saves in the first 20 minutes to help the Coyotes kill three penalties.
"The power play needed to score tonight, there’s no doubt about that," Stars Head Coach Marc Crawford told reporters. "If we got a goal early that could’ve changed the complexion of the game."
Leading 1-0, the Coyotes scored three goals in the second period to take control of the game.
Korpikoski, who has been a healthy scratch nine times this season, scored his first goal with Phoenix at 4:15 of the second period to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead. Upshall set up the goal by faking a shot from the left side and then sliding a slick pass to Korpikoski who beat Turco with a backhanded flip. Upshall again fed Korpikoski a nice pass at 15:45 and Korpikoski banged it past Turco for a 3-0 lead.
Michalek's goal off the left post gave Phoenix a 5-0 lead early in the third period.
Dallas (11-7-7) scored two cosmetic goals in the third period to make things just a tad interesting.
Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin dealt the Stars a morale-crushing blow 26 seconds after teammate Lauri Korpikoski's second goal. Aucion cruised the slot behind a Phoenix rush and banged a loose puck down low past Stars goalie Marty Turco for a 4-0 lead at 16:11 of the second period. After the goal, Dallas Head Coach Marc Crawford promptly replaced Turco with Alex Auld.
• Forward Lauri Korpikoski entered the game with zero points in his first 16 games with Phoenix after being acquired in the off-season from the New York Rangers for forward Enver Lisin. It was Korpikoski's first multi-goal performance in 85 NHL games.
• The Coyotes upped their record to 11-2-1 when scoring the first goal of a game.
• The victory was Phoenix’s fifth in a row over Dallas.
• Forward Mikkel Boedker, who was recalled from the American Hockey League before the game, assisted on Robert Lang’s goal. It was the first point of the season for Boedker, who notched 11 goals and 17 assists in 78 games last season for Phoenix as a rookie.
• Actor Vince Vaughn toured the Coyotes dressing room after the game and posed for pictures with some of the players.
"It’s unbelievable. You lose so much confidence when you’re not scoring. It’s a different game when you get the first one and everything slows down for you and you start to make plays with confidence again. It’s a good feeling."
"We were tough in those tough areas, and we got pucks out and battled around the net. That’s where we found our goals.”
"We scored two in the end but it doesn’t mean anything. They were just the better team out there… We tried to do a lot of stuff on our own and everyone was on a different program and it wasn’t good enough tonight."