The Phoenix Coyotes had to wait a little longer than expected to build off the most successful season in franchise history.
The 113-day lockout, however, was nothing compared to the four years that have passed since the Dallas Stars' last trip to the postseason.
With the core of their roster back from last season's historic run, the visiting Coyotes open the 48-game season Saturday night against a Dallas team that hopes its new additions can spark a playoff push.
After sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference on March 29, Phoenix (42-27-13) rallied with five straight victories to close the regular season and win the Pacific Division - its first division title in franchise history.
The Coyotes followed with their first postseason series victory since moving to Phoenix in 1996, beating Chicago in six games in the first round. They also took out Nashville in five games before losing in five in the conference finals to eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles.