GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Mike Smith made a couple of tough saves in the opening minutes and later skated out to the boards to clear a puck and set up a scoring chance at the other end.
In other words, he looked a lot like the goalie who led the Phoenix Coyotes to the Western Conference finals a year ago.
So did the team in front of him.
Playing with confidence and poise for the first time this season, Smith stopped 17 shots, and the Coyotes were at their tight-checking best in front of him, leading to a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
"He looked like Smitty out there," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "It's the first game I'd say he looked confident all year."
After a loose start to the season, the Coyotes have been steadily building toward a game like this, getting back to the stay-at-home style that led them to the conference for the first time as an NHL franchise last season.
Phoenix kept the Stars to the outside offensively most ...