On a night where the crowd resembled a Where’s Waldo? book thanks to a winter hat giveaway, the Phoenix Coyotes finally managed to pull out a win over the Stars, who had beaten them in a shootout after scoring a goal in the final minute the last two times the teams met. Overall, the Coyotes looked to be a much better team compared to when they played the Canucks just 24 hours prior. Final Score: Coyotes 3, Stars 0
Spotted: Kari Lehtonen leaves the game early.
It all started when Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris ripped a slapshot from the blue line. Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen came out to make a save on it and, after the puck had glanced of his blocker, went to the ice grabbing his leg. Whether it was his hip or his groin, Lehtonen was slow to get up and came off the ice with some help. He wouldn’t return and that hurt the Stars.
Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett insisted they worry more about themselves rather than who they are playing, so the injury to Lehtonen was not a big deal.
“It doesn’t change our game with their goalie coming out,” said Tippett. “We didn’t say, ‘Oh, let’s do this different now.’ Our game plan stayed the same – we wanted to go after them as much as we could.”
Heard: Very few whistles
The Coyotes must have gotten their frustrations out on Friday against the Canucks when they couldn’t stay out of the box, because there were nearly no penalties during the span of the game. It took until 5:11 was left in the second period for anyone to go to the box. That unfortunate individual was Keith Yandle.
Observed: The “Flow” line is working
The line of Radim Vrbata, Martin Hanzal and Ray Whitney has been a potent force in the past, but has lately been switched up. Whether Tippett was trying to matchup with a line or just trying to inspire his team, he should leave this one alone. The guys have great chemistry together and produce a style of play that is hard to replicate — it flows.
“Those guys are so skilled,” said Tippett after Saturday’s game.