GLENDALE, Ariz. – Lauri Korpikoski got his confidence back.
Korpikoski scored his first two goals of the season and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Dallas Stars 5-2 on Friday night. “You lose so much confidence when you’re not scoring,” said Korpikoski, who failed to earn a point in his first 16 games since coming to the Coyotes from the New York Rangers in the off-season. “It’s a different game when you get the first one, everything slows down for you and you start to make plays with confidence again.”
Robert Lang, Adrian Aucoin and Zbynek Michalek also scored to help the Coyotes snap a two-game losing streak. Matthew Lombardi and Scottie Upshall each had three assists for Phoenix in its fifth straight victory over Dallas.
“I thought we used our speed to our advantage and with Lombo up the middle, he was skating great and making plays,” Upshall said. “We were tough in those tough areas and we got pucks out and battled around the net and that’s where we found our goals.”
Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribiero scored third-period goals for the Stars.
The Coyotes struggled offensively during their recent two-game trip, managing only one goal on 64 shots. But Phoenix had no such troubles against Marty Turco and the Stars despite spending most of the game’s first 45 minutes playing in its own zone.
“It’s nice compared to where we’ve been the last few games,” Tippett said. “Korpi’s a guy who plays the game fast but he’d been snake bit a little bit.”
Lang opened the scoring at 10:01 of the first period, taking advantage of Mikkel Boedker’s screen at the top of the crease to beat Turco on a sharp wrist shot from between the circles.
Korpikoski made it 2-0 at 4:15 of the second, taking a pass from Upshall in front of the net and scoring with a backhand flip over Turco’s blocker. Korpikoski added his second goal at 15:45 after a scramble to the left of the net left the puck on Upshall’s stick for a quick pass to Korpikoski for the goal.
“They capitalized on the chances they got,” Stars coach Mark Crawford said. “Our impatience really showed. They got a couple of opportunities because we turned the puck over because of our impatience.”
Aucoin extended the lead to 4-0 just 36 seconds later when Lombardi passed a rebound off Upshall’s missed shot back to Aucoin at the bottom of the right circle.
That ended the night for Turco, who allowed the four goals on 19 shots before he was pulled for the first time this season.
“We all feel like we let him down a little bit but he got the yank,” Morrow said.
Michalek capped the scoring 1:52 into the third on a blast from the left point over the extended right skate of Stars backup goalie Alex Auld.
“They were just a better team tonight,” Dallas defenceman Stephane Robidas said. “Everybody was on a different program tonight and it wasn’t good enough.”
Morrow ended Ilya Bryzgalov’s shutout bid with 14:34 remaining when he took a pass from Tom Wandell and tucked the puck into the left side of the net. Ribiero made it 5-2 less than 2 minutes later when he stole the puck from Upshall just inside the Coyotes zone and blasted a shot from Bryzgalov form the top of the left circle.
NOTES: Korpikoski’s previous entry on the scoresheet was a shootout winner in San Jose on Oct. 12. … Coyotes defenceman Ed Jovanovski, who returned to the lineup Wednesday night in Edmonton after missing eight games because of a lower-body injury, left the game in the second period with another lower-body injury and did not return. Phoenix left wing Vernon Fiddler left the game and centre Peter Mueller also left the game with undisclosed injuries. … Boedker was recalled earlier Friday from San Antonio of the American Hockey League. He had appeared in six games earlier this season without scoring a point after scoring 11 goals and 17 assists in 78 games last season.