Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 2/3/13
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Few things can bolster a goaltender's confidence like a shutout. Mike Smith stopped 17 shots for his 20th career shutout, and the Phoenix Coyotes blanked the Dallas Stars 2-0 Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena. "I thought he looked like (himself) out there," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "It's the first game that he looked confident out there." Smith has struggled this season both in performance and health. He allowed 10 goals in the Coyotes' first two games, then went down with a lower-body injury in Phoenix's third contest. Smith missed four games before returning Friday night in the Coyotes' 4-3 shootout loss at Dallas. "Having a couple shaky starts and then getting injured wasn't the start I was looking for," Smith said. "Obviously, it wasn't a really busy night, but it was good to gain some confidence." Nick Johnson and Mikkel Boedker scored for the Coyotes, who have points in their past four games (2-0-2) after starting the season with one win in five games. The game marked the return of Coyotes left wing Raffi Torres, who served a 21-game suspension following his flying hit to the head of Chicago's Marian Hossa in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs last April. "It's nice to feel welcomed and get back at it," Torres said. Smith enjoyed considerable assistance from his defense, which held the Stars to just three shots on goal in the second period and blocked 15 shots. Asked how he passed the time, Smith smiled and said, "I twiddled my thumbs." Dallas also was hampered by penalties, spending nearly half of the first period short-handed and surrendering seven power-play opportunities overall. "We're paying for it now," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said, whose team allowed just one-power play goal. "We've had internal discussions about having too many penalties, and we'll pay for it again when we get to practice." Johnson broke a scoreless tie at 11:57 of the second period after a Dallas turnover in the Phoenix zone. Smith attempted to clear the puck down the ice, but the Stars' Jamie Oleksiak stopped the puck along the halfboards. Korpikoski came in, poked the puck loose, skated untouched down the left side and found Johnson between the circles for the one-timer and his third goal of the season. "We were a little energized, a little (ticked) off," Johnson said. "When you lose in a shootout, it leaves a bad taste." Boedker made it 2-0 on a power-play with 17:13 to play in the game, firing home a long rebound from just outside the crease off a blast from the right point by Derek Morris. Dallas goaltender Richard Bachman made 32 saves. The Stars have four goals in their past six road games dating back to last season, and they've been shut out three times in that span. NOTES: Torres' suspension, originally set at 25 games before being reduced by four games after the Coyotes' elimination from the playoffs, matched the third-longest in NHL history, behind only Billy Coutu's lifetime ban in 1927 and Chris Simon's 30-game suspension in 2007. ... Phoenix had five power plays in the game's 27 minutes. ... Smith entered the game 5-1-5 against the team with which he started his career. It was his second career shutout against the Stars. ... Smith's first shutout also was in Phoenix, a 4-0 win for Dallas in his first career start. ... Bachman was making his second start of the season. ... Phoenix center Andy Miele made his season debut, and he finished a plus-1. ... The Coyotes have two more sets of consecutive games against the same team this season. Phoenix plays three games in five nights against Anaheim in early March and consecutive games at Los Angeles in March. ... Dallas plays two straight at home against Minnesota on March 25 and 29, then three in five days against the Ducks to start April.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

Broncos safety Shiloh Keo arrested for DUI

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mountain West admits error, says Boise St. shot was good

WATCH: John Calipari loses his mind, gets ejected

Former Clemson star Tajh Boyd to speak at John Kasich rally

Peyton Manning's alleged not-so-wholesome image

Hawks not shopping Al Horford at NBA trade deadline

Report: Lincecum has been throwing in secret location

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

Ejected John Calipari tweets “they don’t need me and I love it”

Popovich would 'buy ticket' to watch Warriors play

Jamal Murray destroyed South Carolina defender with dunk

WATCH: Lon Kruger gets Oklahoma hoops squad hype for Kansas test

Texas signee glad he didn’t pick Texas A&M after alleged racism

Dallas Stars have passed the early tests in February

Could Matt Forte become the revival for Patriots run game?

Are the Celtics legimate contenders in the East?

WATCH: Jabari Parker is no joke at NBA Rising Stars Challenge

How Marvelous Marv Throneberry became a Met

WATCH: Filip Forsberg goes beast on Lightning with this goal

Carmelo Anthony on trade rumors: ‘I’m not going anywhere’

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker