Game Day: Dallas Stars @ Phoenix Coyotes

With few words in the way of explanations or possible excuses (too much turkey?), the Phoenix Coyotes will look to rebound from a 5-0 loss against the Vancouver Canucks as early as tonight as they face the Dallas Stars.

"We didn't start very good, we didn't have a good middle and we didn't end very good. So that pretty much sums it up right there." - Dave Tippett [1]

Dallas also played last night, as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated them in the shootout, 4-3. Joffrey Lupul scored the goal that would eventually stand as the difference-maker between the two teams.

With that in mind, ironically, the story between these two teams this season in their previous meetings has been heartbreak just short of overtime, followed by disappointment in the shootout. Phoenix was about to come out with two wins and, each time in the final minute, instead ended up being forced to extra time and having either Mike Ribiero or Trevor Daley score the winner in the shootout.  The last-minute curse even dates back to last season, when Jamie Benn scored with 4.8 seconds remaining and they didn't even need overtime for a win there.

Quick Hits: Stars
♦ Eric Nystrom scored his 6th and 7th goals of the season against Toronto last night. He was claimed off of waivers from Minnesota earlier in the season. His career high is 11, scored over a full season of 82 games two seasons ago.
♦ Nystrom shares the 3rd line with former Coyote Vernon Fiddler, who has 8 points this season.
Jamie Benn assisted on both Nystrom's goals and had the second-most shots on goal with 4.
Steve Ott and Sheldon Souray each have two points in the season series thus far. Before the loss to Toronto, Ott had scored two straight game-winners for his club.
♦ Brenden Morrow did not play against the Leafs on Friday and is expected to miss tonight's contest as well.

Quick Hits: Coyotes
♦ Martin Hanzal performed well given the circumstances on Friday, winning 18 of 24 faceoffs and recording three shots and five hits.
♦ Despite being the most-used forward against Vancouver, Shane Doan only finished with a -1. He leads the Coyotes with 2 points against Dallas this season (65 points in 89 games, careerwise).
♦ Mike Smith stopped all 16 Canucks' shots in the first period, and despite taking hits to his goals-against average and save-percentage, remains 8-1-2 in his last eleven starts.
♦ Kyle Turris is still not expected to make a debut with the Coyotes in the immediate future. He will be sent to their affiliate in Portland for conditioning.
♦ Daymond Langkow was unable to play against Vancouver but is expected to play tonight.