Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dallas Stars Game 8: 4-3 Shootout Win Over the Phoenix Coyotes

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It’s finally over.

The Dallas Stars’ four-game losing streak came to an end Friday night when they defeated the visiting division-rival Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 in a shootout.

Rookies played a key role in the Stars’ win. Brenden Dillon and Antoine Roussel scored their first career NHL goals and Dillon added an assist and a fight. Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak played over 15 minutes in his NHL debut. Veteran Michael Ryder scored the Stars’ third goal of the game and goalie Kari Letonen stopped 31 of 34 shots and stopped three out of four shootout attempts to get the win.

Antoine Roussel opened the scoring when Ryan Garbutt’s dump in hit off of the linesman and into the Coyotes’ zone. Roussel collected the puck in stride and lifted a backhand shot over Smith’s left shoulder 9:53 into the first period.

Little over two minutes later Tomas Vincour and Vernon Fiddler’s aggressive forecheck forced Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle to slap the puck around the boards. Dillon was at the blue line when he reached the puck and slapped it off of Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s leg and into the net.

Martin Hanzal was key for the Coyotes, scoring two goals and causing a distraction in front of the Stars net that let to a Radim Vrbata deflection to hit off of Jamie Benn’s skate and into the net.

In the shootout, Jamie Benn scored in the third round to keep the Stars in the game. Lehtonen stopped Ekman-Larsson’s shootout attempt and Jaromir Jagr put the puck past Mike Smith to earn the victory.

The Stars’ next game is their third back-to-back of the season. They will be playing in Phoenix against the Coyotes at 7 p.m.

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