Stars outshine Coyotes as Keller extends point streak
Mar 31, 2023, 10:18 PM | Updated: 11:15 pm
(Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Jason Robertson had a goal and three assists, with his goal breaking a tie with 22 seconds remaining in the second period in the Dallas Stars’ 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Friday night.
Robertson has 42 goals and 95 points, breaking Mike Modano’s season scoring record for the Stars. Modano, who had 93 points in 1992-93, spoke to the team afterward.
“When you are breaking records of guys like Mike Modano, that is something pretty special,” Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said. “That’s rare air. That’s the kind of thing you’ll be able to tell your grandkids about.”
Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz, Jamie Benn and Max Domi also scored for Dallas, which swept the four-game season series while outscoring the Coyotes 20-6. Benn scored his 32nd on a power play five minutes into the third period for a 4-2 lead, and Domi scored into an open net with 1:01 remaining.
Dallas (41-20-14) moved a point behind Minnesota and two points ahead of Colorado for the Central Division lead. The Stars play the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche in Denver on Saturday. Colorado has a game in hand on both.
“They are kind of the measuring stick, Stanley Cup champs,” said Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger, who had 16 saves and is scheduled to start Saturday. “It’s going to be a great test for us, back to back, going to a great barn and play a great team. I think everyone is going to be really excited.”
Robertson gave the Stars a 3-2 lead after taking a pass at the blue line and working his way into the middle of the ice before putting a wrist shot through a small window.
“I didn’t know if I could beat the ‘D,’ so pulled up and tried to shoot through them,” Robertson said. “Lucky it went in.”
DeBoer: “He’s got that sneaky shot that he can beat goalies from distance. There are not many guys that can do that in this league. It was a huge goal timing-wise for us.”
Jusso Valimaki and Connor Mackey scored for Arizona and Karel Vejmelka had 26 saves. The Coyotes have lost six straight.
Clayton Keller assisted on Valimaki’s goal to extend his points streak to 14 games, the longest since the franchise relocated from Winnipeg in 1996. Keller is tied with Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson for the longest active points streak in the NHL.
“I don’t think, we played with enough urgency today,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said.
Pavelski scored his 23rd goal 1:23 into the game. Esa Lindell’s pass from the let circle caromed in off Pavelski as he was being checked in front of the net.
Valimaki scored on a power play five minutes into the first period and Mackey scored after a Dallas turnover late to give the Coyotes a 2-1 lead after the first period.
Hintz scored his 34th goal of the season 53 seconds into the second period, when he roofed a quick wrist shot from the right circle to tie it at 2-2.
“We wanted to get in and out of here as clean as possible, and I think we did that,” deBoer said. “We got on our heels a little in the middle of the first, but came out in the second and third and kind of made sure we were going to win that game.”
KELLER MAKES HISTORY
Keller finished March with 24 points, the most in a calendar month in Coyotes’ history. Teemu Selanne holds the franchise record with 27 points in a month, in January and March of 1993, when the franchise was located in Winnipeg.
NOTES: The Stars loaned G Scott Wedgewood to Texas of the American Hockey League on a conditioning assignment Friday. Wedgewood, who has a 2.92 goals-against average in 18 games, was acquired from the Coyotes last March for a 2023 third-round draft pick. … Vejmelka played in his 100th NHL game. … Coyotes F Laurent Dauphin (upper body) missed his fourth straight game but is expected to return Saturday. … Coyotes D Victor Soderstrom received a double-minor high sticking penalty when he hit Hintz into the boards with 7:47 remaining. Hintz was prone on the ice several moments before skating off with a gash on his left cheek. He did not return. He will need stitches, DeBoer said.
Stars: At Colorado on Saturday night.
Coyotes: Host San Jose on Saturday night.