GLENDALE, Ariz. – Down a goal, the clock ticking down, Dallas never panicked.
After being in a similar position against the same team just two weeks earlier, the Stars had no reason to think they couldn’t pull off another late rally.
And Dallas did just that, sending Phoenix to another deflating defeat.
Trevor Daley scored on Dallas’ eighth shootout attempt after Adam Burish tied it with 61 seconds left in regulation, helping the Stars beat Phoenix 3-2 Tuesday night for their second straight comeback victory over the Coyotes.
“We always talk about in our locker room that it’s a process to win and you have to work to put yourselves in a position to have some level of success to get a desired result,” Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said. “As long as were in a strong position, then you’re going to get points like tonight.”
Dallas rallied to beat Phoenix in a shootout after scoring with 27 seconds left on Oct. 10 and forced another on Burish’s one-timer past Mike Smith.
Sheldon Souray scored for Dallas and Kari Lehtonen kept the Stars in it, turning away 33 shots in regulation.
The two teams scored just one goal each in the shootout—in the fifth round—and Lehtonen turned away three shots while forcing the Coyotes to hold the puck too long, setting up Daley’s final chance.
Gliding in on his first career shootout attempt, the Dallas defenceman used a deke to move Smith, then slipped a backhander past him to give the Stars another comeback victory against the Coyotes.
“I was happy that Kari got the save before, so it kind of took a little pressure (off),” Daley said. “But it was enjoyable. It was my first one, so I was excited.”
The Coyotes weren’t after blowing another late lead to Dallas.
Raffi Torres got his first goal for Phoenix in the first period and Smith was superb all the way through, turning away 34 shots, then six more in the shootout.
Shane Doan provided what looked like the perfect ending with his 300th career, swatting in a one-timer from Ray Whitney as he fell to put the Coyotes up 2-1 midway through the third period.
It all went wrong in a matter of minutes.
Burish scored his goal on a pass from Mike Ribeiro, then Phoenix missed on one chance after another in regulation and the shootout—four of eight shots missed the goal—to suffer another disheartening loss to the Stars.
“They found a way to get way to get one late,” Doan said. “It was kind of a scrambly play and we’ve got to be better.”
The two teams without owners have had vastly different starts to the season.
Dallas is still awaiting league approval for its new potential owner, Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi, the only person to submit a bid to buy the team.
On the ice, the Stars haven’t wasted any time getting things rolling.
Relying on sturdy goaltending and depth it didn’t have a year ago, Dallas won six of its first eight games for just the third time in franchise history after missing the playoffs the previous three seasons.
Lehtonen has been the key to the Stars’ season-opening surge to the top of the Pacific Division, going 6-0-0 with a 1.48 goals against average a .957 save percentage his first six games.
The Coyotes are in still-without-an-owner mode.
They were run by the NHL the previous two seasons and stuck around the desert for a third season when the City of Glendale forked over US$25 million to keep the team in Arizona after a deal to sell the team fell through.
The Coyotes were able to shake off the uncertain ownership situation the previous two years, making the playoffs in both, but are off to an indifferent start this season.
Sporadic on offence and giving up too many chances in its own end, Phoenix came into Tuesday’s game just 3-3 after holding on to beat the Ducks 5-4 on Saturday.
Phoenix was crisp against Dallas back at home despite a tiny crowd, getting some big stops by Smith in the first period and creating momentum on offence over the next two.
Torres scored his first goal with Phoenix, firing a tough-angle shot that caromed off Lehtonen and into the net early in the first period.
Dallas answered late in the period with its first power-play goal in four games, a slap shot from the left circle by Sheldon Souray that sailed through traffic and over Smith’s glove shoulder.
Phoenix picked up the pressure in the second period and went ahead 2-1 at 11:47 of the third, when Doan reached his milestone on a power play.
But, just like they did the last time around, the Coyotes couldn’t finish Dallas off, leading to another spirit-killing loss to the Pacific Division leaders.
“It stinks,” Smith said. “I can deal with giving up a lead one time to a divisional team, but twice in a few weeks stings pretty bad.”
Notes: This was the sixth straight one-goal game between the teams. … Doan had gone four games without a goal after getting No. 299. … Dallas has 499 goals as a franchise against Phoenix. … Vernon Fiddler took two shots his first game for the Stars in Phoenix after spending two seasons with the Coyotes.