Playing the Phoenix Coyotes at times - most times actually - is a study in frustration and tonight was no exception, but it at least ended in a positive manner as the Dallas Stars closed out their four game road trip with a 3-2 shootout win. Trevor Daley scored the winning marker in the 8th round of the extra skills challenge.
The extra long shootout that featured 16 different players seemed quite fitting considering the game itself was a grind-em-out type affair that started off as a 1-1 contest in the first period thanks to Raffi Torres and Sheldon Souray trading goals, and looked to have turned sour for the Stars halfway through the third period when Shane Doan scored the 300th goal of his career for the Coyotes on the power play to take the one goal lead.
Adam Burish played the role of late game hero as he was able to shovel a loose puck past a sprawling Mike Smith who had up until that point turned away multiple chances.
Kari Lehtonen stays unbeaten this year with his seventh win stopping 33 of 35 shots during the game and another 7 of 8 attempts during the shootout.
Special Teams A Mixed Bag : If you're feeling a little confused about the play of both the Stars power play and penalty kill units, rest assured you're not alone. On one hand the Stars power play went 1 for 3 and Souray's blast and how they set that goal up was textbook, but those other two power play chances were awful and in once case during the lone man advantage they had in the second period, the Coyotes out-shot the Stars. As for the Stars penalty kill, it too was ok on the surface as the three of four times they killed off a man advantage against looked good, but it was that third period goal where the Stars seemed to go all kinds of Keystone Cops in front of their net that led to the Doan goal.
Saving Face(offs) : Dallas controlled the face off dot tonight going a very impressive 36 and 23 for a winning percentage of 61%. Leading the way in that department for the Stars was Burish (7 and 2) and Steve Ott (14 and 9).
Another Block Party : Stars piled up 21 blocked shots with Nicklas Grossman leading the way there with 5.
Shoot To Thrill : It's a rare night so far this season when the outshoot their opponents, but they did just that tonight by one with a final tally being 36-35. Almost every player on the Stars roster managed two or more shots with only Stephane Robidas (1 shot), Jake Dowell, Adam Pardy, Toby Petersen (all 0 shots) and Kari Lehtonen (don't laugh too hard, he actually was credited with a single shot on goal..) the only Stars to not pile up at least two shots.
Sheldon Souray (1 goal - 2nd of season)
Adam Burish (1 goal - 2nd of season)
Jamie Benn (1 assist - 6th of season)
Steve Ott (1 assist - 5th of season)
Mike Ribeiro (1 assist - 6th of season)
Brenden Morrow (1 assist - 3rd of season)
Defending Big D Three Stars:
1 - Kari Lehtonen (DAL)
2 - Mike Smith (PHO)
3 - Sheldon Souray (DAL)