Preview: Stars at Coyotes
The Dallas Stars are seeing double this week as they try for their 10th straight victory over Arizona when they visit the Coyotes on Saturday. Dallas won at Nashville 3-1 on Feb. 2 and defeated Arizona 5-4 on Monday with four goals in the third period before seeing its five-game winning streak snapped with a 3-2 overtime loss at the Predators on Thursday.
"It's good for us because it's more like a playoff series," Stars coach Jim Montgomery told the media about the scheduling quirk. "We're playing each other so recently, so adjustments that you make, you're going to see what they do and you have to be on your toes as a coach." Dallas sits third in the Central Division, four points ahead of Minnesota, after its 5-0-1 stretch moved them six points clear for at least a wild-card spot. Arizona, which last defeated the Stars on March 24, 2016, is going in the other direction after a 4-2 loss to Columbus on Thursday extended its losing streak to five (0-4-1). "We've had a lot of what-ifs the last bunch of games and we've got to figure out a way to get some wins here," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet told reporters. "The last few games, (in) losing, we could have made that play to win but the other team is making that play."
TV: 4 p.m. ET, FS Southwest (Dallas), FS Arizona
ABOUT THE STARS (28-21-5): Ben Bishop (19-12-2, 2.30 goals-against average, .924 save percentage), who has won four straight starts, missed Thursday's game (undisclosed) but "should be fine for Arizona,'' Montgomery said. Tyler Seguin (team highs of 22 goals, 51 points) has recorded four goals and two assists during a four-game point streak. Defenseman John Klingberg (team-high 25 minutes per game, 26 points in 36 games) has scored in each of the two meetings with the Coyotes this season.
ABOUT THE COYOTES (23-26-5): Clayton Keller (team-high 37 points) recorded two assists versus Dallas on Monday while Oliver Ekman-Larsson (team-worst minus-17) scored - their only appearances on the scoresheet in the last four games. Defenseman Kyle Capobianco, a third-round pick in 2015, left Thursday's game - the third of his career - with an apparent knee injury, and Tocchet told reporters "it didn't look good." Defenseman Jordan Oesterle recorded a goal and an assist Thursday, extending his point streak to three games, and has recorded nine of his 17 points in the last 11 games.
1. Dallas won the first of three meetings this season 3-0 on Oct. 4 behind 30 saves from Bishop.
2. The Stars have scored on the power play in only two of their last 10 games, going 5-for-28 during that span, and have killed 17-of-18 penalties in their past six contests.
3. Arizona hasn't scored a power-play goal in its last four games (15 tries) and is 6-for-11 on the penalty kill in its past three contests.
PREDICTION: Stars 3, Coyotes 2