Posted February 02, 2013 on AP on Fox
Mike Smith stopped 17 shots and the Phoenix Coyotes were at their tight-checking best in a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars Saturday night. Nick Johnson scored his third goal of the season and Mikkel Boedker his second for the Coyotes, who have points in four straight games. The Coyotes have gotten back to their stay-at-home style that helped them reach the Western Conference finals last season. Phoenix kept the Stars to the outside offensively most of the night while getting sticks and their bodies in the way whenever they tried to shoot. Smith was there to turn away anything that reached the net for his 20th career shutout, first this season. One of the NHL's lowest-scoring teams, Dallas lost for the fifth time in six games after managing nine shots in the first two periods against Phoenix. The Stars are 1-14-2 in the second game of back-to-backs the past two seasons, including 0-3-0 this season, after being outshot for the 10th time in as many games. The Stars and Coyotes have been pretty familiar with each other in this lockout-shortened season so far, meeting three times the first two weeks, including consecutive nights. Dallas had the edge in the first two games, beating Phoenix 4-3 in the season opener behind Jaromir Jagr's two goals and two assists, then in a shootout by the same score Friday night. The Pacific Division rivals traded a few good scoring chances in a scoreless first period after the short turnaround and a couple more in the second before Phoenix broke through on a play set up by Smith. Seeing the Stars building a big rush, the Coyotes' goalie raced out of his crease to clear a puck along the boards. As he skated backward toward his crease, the Coyotes built a rush of their own, with Lauri Korpikoski finding Johnson along the left wing for a wrister that clanged in off the post. Defensively, Phoenix barely gave the Stars room to move, much less get off shots. With the Coyotes clogging lanes and diving in front of pucks, Dallas had six shots in the first period and one in the second before getting off two in the final minute. The Stars also created problems for themselves with penalties, giving Phoenix seven power-play chances. The Coyotes capitalized on one early in the third period, when Boedker punched in a rebound after a shot from the point by Derek Morris bounced off Richard Bachman to the side of the crease. Bachman finished with 32 saves. Notes: Coyotes LW Raffi Torres had a solid game and played aggressively after returning from a 21-game suspension for a hit that knocked Chicago's Marian Hossa from last season's playoffs. ... Dallas LW Ray Whitney missed a chance to play against his former team because of a lower-body injury that sent him to the injured reserve list. Dallas recalled rookie RW Reilly Smith to fill his roster spot.
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