Stars
Coyotes
4 - 2 Final
  for this game

Minus Ribeiro, Stars stop Coyotes

Apr 4, 2008 - 6:35 AM By Bob Huhn PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Despite being without their leading scorer, the Dallas Stars found a way to beat their nemesis.

Defensemen Matt Niskanen and Stephane Robidas each scored a power-play goal and Johan Holmqvist stopped 21 shots as the Stars defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 4-2, on Thursday night.

"It has been a while since I played, but I really didn't feel that way," said Holmqvist, who played for the first time since March 15 and notched his first win since February 14 while with Tampa Bay. "In the beginning, it was a little hard. It was an adjustment, but it was a good opportunity for me. The guys did a good job of blocking the net in front of me and I was able to come up with the big save when I needed to."

Captain Brenden Morrow and Mike Modano also tallied for Dallas (44-29-7), which moved two points ahead of idle Colorado (43-31-7) for fifth place in the Western Conference. The win also prevented the idle Anaheim Ducks from clinching the fourth seed and home ice in the conference quarterfinals.

The Stars, who had struggled to a 2-4-0 record in their first six meetings with the Coyotes this season, were without Mike Ribeiro on Thursday. The All-Star, who leads the team with 83 points, was sidelined with the flu.

Dallas, which had scored two goals or less in four of its previous five games, found offense elsewhere.

"We had some guys who hadn't played a lot lately that played very well for us," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "We knew it was going to be a working game with the people we had out of the lineup. Robidas continues to be very strong on the power play. We got a big goal from Niskanen. We did enough to win tonight."

After a sluggish first period in which neither team generated many scoring opportunities, the Stars got on the board at 5:22 of the second during a power play. Niskanen drilled a one-timer from the left point over the left shoulder of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov for a 1-0 edge.

Dallas doubled the lead during another man advantage as Robidas blasted a shot from just inside the blue line past Bryzgalov with 6:57 to go in the period.

"Robidas has done a heck of a job filling in on the power play because that is a heck of a guy we are missing," Morrow said, referring to injured All-Star defenseman Sergei Zubov. "You can't really fill those shoes, but he has done a pretty good job in his place."

With exactly one minute remaining in the second, Morrow intercepted an errant pass by Coyotes defenseman Keith Ballard and wristed a shot from the slot past Bryzgalov for a three-goal cushion.

"We wanted to play a simple game. We were missing some skilled centermen out there," Morrow said. "A lot of guys got an opportunity to play in situations they maybe hadn't much this year. Special teams were good for us, and that was probably the difference."

That proved to be the winner, even though Enver Lisin and Ballard scored in the latter half of the third to draw Phoenix within 3-2. But Modano sealed the victory with an empty-netter with 31 seconds remaining.

Bryzgalov stopped 32 shots for Phoenix, which fell to 1-8-1 in its last nine games. The Coyotes concluded their home schedule with the league's second-worst record in their own building at 17-20-4.

"Next year, we need to get better at home. If we had the same record at home as we did on the road, we would have made the playoffs," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "We did make tremendous strides this season in a lot of areas. We completed a lot better in the conference, but we weren't consistent enough and not good enough at home."

Kyle Turris, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft, made his NHL debut for the Coyotes. The 18-year-old, who played for Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament last weekend, centered a line with captain Shane Doan and rookie Peter Mueller after signing a contract on Monday.

"My first shift, I was a little star-struck and I had my eyes wide open. I was a bit nervous," Turris said. "Playing with those two makes things a bit easier, and with (Gretzky), he is there to learn from. He teaches so much. I was just trying to be a sponge and absorb as much as I can."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 0 3 1 4
    PHOENIX 0 0 2 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: DAL - (PP) MATT NISKANEN 7 (PHILIPPE BOUCHER, LOUI ERIKSSON)
    5:22
    DAL - (PP) STEPHANE ROBIDAS 9 (JOEL LUNDQVIST, BRENDEN
    MORROW) 13:03
    DAL - BRENDEN MORROW 32 (UNASSISTED) 19:00
    3RD PRD: PHO - ENVER LIS

    Apr 4 12:31 AM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 4
    PHOENIX 2
    3RD PRD: DAL - (EN) BRENDEN MORROW 33 (UNASSISTED) 19:29

    Stars 4, Coyotes 2  3rd - 0:31Apr 4 12:29 AM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 3
    PHOENIX 2
    3RD PRD: PHO - (SH) KEITH BALLARD 6 (SHANE DOAN, DANIEL WINNIK) 16:59

    Stars 3, Coyotes 2  3rd - 3:01Apr 4 12:24 AM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 3
    PHOENIX 1
    3RD PRD: PHO - ENVER LISIN 4 (NIKO KAPANEN, DANIEL CARCILLO) 13:55

    Stars 3, Coyotes 1  3rd - 6:05Apr 4 12:18 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 0 3 3
    PHOENIX 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: DAL - (PP) MATT NISKANEN 7 (PHILIPPE BOUCHER, LOUI ERIKSSON)
    5:22
    DAL - (PP) STEPHANE ROBIDAS 9 (JOEL LUNDQVIST, BRENDEN
    MORROW) 13:03
    DAL - BRENDEN MORROW 32 (UNASSISTED) 19:00
    SHOTS ON GO

    Apr 3 11:35 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 3
    PHOENIX 0
    2ND PRD: DAL - BRENDEN MORROW 32 (UNASSISTED) 19:00

    Stars 3, Coyotes 0  2nd - 1:00Apr 3 11:33 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 2
    PHOENIX 0
    2ND PRD: DAL - (PP) STEPHANE ROBIDAS 9 (JOEL LUNDQVIST, BRENDEN
    MORROW) 13:03

    Stars 2, Coyotes 0  2nd - 6:57Apr 3 11:25 PM


  • NHL
    DALLAS 1
    PHOENIX 0
    2ND PRD: DAL - MATT NISKANEN 7 (PHILIPPE BOUCHER, LOUI ERIKSSON) 5:22

    Stars 1, Coyotes 0  2nd - 14:38Apr 3 11:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DALLAS 0 0
    PHOENIX 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DAL 11 11
    PHO 8 8
    GOALIES: DAL - JOHAN HOLMQVIST
    PHO - ILJA BRYZGALOV

    Apr 3 10:43 PM