Another back-to-back game, another loss.
The Phoenix Coyotes shutout the visiting Dallas Stars 2-0, but Mike Smith didn’t have to do much to earn the goose egg. The Stars only managed 17 shots on Smith, nine of which came from the Stars top line. At the other end, Richard Bachman faced 34 shots including seven penalty kills in his season debut.
The Coyotes earned three out of a possible four points in this home-and-home with the Stars and moved ahead of Dallas in the standings. The Stars have lost four of their six back-to-back games this season, and their record dropped to 1-14-2 over the last two seasons in back-to-backs.
Jamie Benn and Jamie Oleksiak had their best games of the season. Benn managed five shots on goal in 21:15 of ice time, and he looked quicker and more accurate in shots and passes than in previous games. In Oleksiak’s second NHL game, he dished out six hits, blocked three shots and looked comfortable and defensively responsible in 16:47 of ice time.
To open the scoring, Mike Smith skated out of his net and cut off a dump in to pass the puck up the boards. Lauri Korpikoski skated the puck into the zone, held it for a second and passed to Nick Johnson who rifled the puck past by Bachman’s blocker 11:57 into the second period.
The second goal came on a power play with Michael Ryder in the penalty box for boarding. A strong shot from the point by Derek Morris bounced off of Bachman and then off Martin Hanzal in front of the net. The puck trickled to Bachman’s right and Mikkel Boedker put the puck into a gaping net 2:47 into the third period.
The Stars were short Derek Roy and Cristopher Nilstorp due to injuries and they announced that Ray Whitney will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken foot.
The Stars’ next two games are on the road as they visit the Colorado Avalanche Monday night and then the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.