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Martin Hanzal scores two goals in Stars' 5-3 win over Coyotes

DALLAS - Martin Hanzal helped the Phoenix Coyotes rebound from their most lopsided loss of the season.

Hanzal scored twice, including the third-period tiebreaking goal off a fortunate bounce, and the Coyotes beat Dallas 5-3 on Wednesday night just a few hours after Stars officials met to discuss what to do with suspended forward Sean Avery.

Olli Jokinen also notched two goals for the Coyotes after being activated off the injured list. Jokinen had missed six games due to a shoulder injury.

With the score 3-3, Stars goalie Marty Turco skated behind his net and attempted a pass along the boards. The puck tipped off the stick of Dallas defenceman Trevor Daley and wound up on Hanzal's stick in front. With Turco caught out of position, Hanzal popped in an easy shot at 5:21 for his eighth goal.

"I got pretty lucky," Hanzal said. "It hit (Daley's) stick on the backhand and the puck came out to me. It definitely was a huge win. We'd lost (two) in a row. This will help our confidence."

Steven Reinprecht added an empty-netter with 23.7 seconds left.

The Coyotes were routed by the Chicago Blackhawks 7-1 on Sunday, and coach Wayne Gretzky praised his young team for a far better effort against the Stars.

"I was really proud how our team responded," Gretzky said. "We got beat pretty bad last game. We got (the Stars) at a lucky time. They're missing some key players who can't be replaced."

Daley and rookies Fabian Brunnstrom and James Neal scored for the Stars, whose depth has been thinned by injuries.

Earlier Wednesday, Stars executives talked about the team's options regarding Avery, the agitator who is serving a six-game NHL suspension for a distasteful remark about ex-girlfriends made in Calgary on Dec. 2. Team leaders such as Turco, forward Mike Modano and coach Dave Tippett have said they don't believe Avery would be welcomed back in the team's dressing room.

Avery's suspension will end after Dallas' game Saturday night at Nashville. He's eligible to return for Tuesday night's home game against Phoenix.

Stars co-general manager Les Jackson, who attended the meeting, said the club won't make any public announcement on Avery until next week.

"We talked it out," Jackson said before the game. "Everybody had an opinion. Sometime next week we'll have something put together."

The Stars could add a club suspension to Avery's league ban. They could also put him on waivers or try to trade him, although there's unlikely to be much league-wide interest.

Dallas defenceman Stephane Robidas said the team is trying to overcome distractions surrounding the Avery situation.

"That's an issue that management is dealing with," said Robidas, who needed several stitches to close a deep cut on his lip after he was hit in the face with the puck in the closing seconds of the first period. "We have to focus on hockey. Teams go through stretches with all kinds of distractions and you can't make excuses. It's not something we can control."

The Stars grabbed the lead at 4:34 of the opening period on Daley's wrister from the right circle.

Phoenix tied it on Hanzal's sharp-angle shot at 7:19 of the first period, then went in front on Jokinen's power-play deflection at 9:49.

Neal's power-play goal at 10:58 of the opening period tied it at 2, and Brunnstrom's rebound at 8:35 of the second period put Dallas in front.

Jokinen got Phoenix even at 3 on a power-play rebound with 3.2 seconds left in the second period.

"Scoring a goal with three seconds left in the period goes a long way for the team," Gretzky said.

Notes: C Tom Wandell made his Stars debut. Wandell, recalled from the Swedish Elite League last week to cover a series of injuries to forwards, had 5:59 of ice time. ... Phoenix has won five of its last seven games against Turco. ... Dallas had won four of six. ... Jokinen hadn't played since Nov. 26 at Columbus. He hadn't scored since netting two goals against San Jose on Nov. 9.



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