DALLAS – Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett refused to gloat after his new team beat his old one.
Shane Doan had a goal and two assists, Ilya Bryzgalov made 38 saves, and Phoenix stretched its winning streak to four games with a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday in Tippett’s return to Texas.
Tippett coached the Stars from 2002 until his firing last June. He was hired in September by the Coyotes, who’ve weathered a bankruptcy filing and threats of relocation to become surprise contenders.
“There are a lot of great friends that are on that team,” Tippett said. “I had a great time here, seven years is a long time to be in one place, great memories. But I think they’ve moved on and I’ve moved on. Once the puck drops, the game’s on, just like any other game.”
Keith Yandle notched his fourth goal in four games, and Peter Mueller and Radim Vrbata added goals for the Coyotes, 3-0 against the Stars this season.
Bryzgalov improved to 29-14-4, establishing a career high for victories in a season, as the Coyotes won for the second time in less than 24 hours. Phoenix beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Saturday night in Glendale.
Doan continues on a hot streak with five goals and 10 assists in his last seven games.
The Stars had won five straight at home and were 13-2-2 in their previous 17 in Texas, so Doan knew winning in Dallas would be a challenge, especially in Tippett’s homecoming.
“I think that you’re naive if you don’t see (that the game was special for Tippett),” Doan said. “You hear about it and you read about it, and at the same time we know how good Dallas is and that they’re trying to make a run and we want to make it as hard as we can on them.”
Steve Ott and Fabian Brunnstrom scored for the Stars, and Alex Auld made 27 saves in his sixth start in eight games in place of slumping Marty Turco.
Phoenix built an 11-2 shots edge in the first 10 minutes, taking a 1-0 lead when Yandle converted Doan’s goal-mouth pass 4:41 after the opening faceoff, Yandle’s 10th goal of the season. Mueller made it 2-0 at 2:26 of the second period off Doan’s setup.
Ott got Dallas to 2-1 at 7:07 of the second period when his shot from the right point went in off Phoenix defenceman Sami Lepisto’s skate.
Vrbada skated up the right side and beat Auld from the right circle at 4:37 of the final period to stretch the advantage to 3-1.
Brunnstrom made it 3-2 with 7:02 left, knocking in the rebound of his own shot, but Doan struck from the right circle 11 seconds later to restore the two-goal margin.
Dallas turned up the heat with 23 shots in the final period, but the Stars could only get one past Bryzgalov.
“We were good in the third,” Dallas’ Brad Richards said. “We were crashing the net. We figured one of those would go in.”
But the Stars were unable to overcome their lethargic start.
“We said we wanted to come out strong because we knew they played last night, but they came out skating hard and I don’t think we were ready for them,” Stars defenceman Nicklas Grossman said.
The Coyotes learned before the game that top goal-scorer Scottie Upshall will be sidelined indefinitely because of a torn ACL in his right knee.
Upshall, who has 18 goals, was injured Thursday night a 3-2 win over Calgary. Surgery will be necessary to repair the tear.
NOTES: Tippett was shown on the videoboard during a break in the first period and received a nice ovation. Tippett’s .617 winning percentage is the highest for a Stars coach and he’s second in career wins (271). … The teams played twice in Glendale this season, with the Coyotes prevailing in both games by a total score of 8-4. … Stars RW Jere Lehtinen was activated off injured reserve. Lehtinen, a member of Finland’s Olympic team, missed the previous six games because of a neck problem. … Dallas C Brian Sutherby left in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return. … Auld was unbeaten in his previous six home starts. … Dallas had a two-game winning streak snapped. The Stars haven’t won three in a row this season. … Auld has two assists in his last three games.