GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)—For the fourth straight home game, the Phoenix Coyotes had an early two-goal lead. This time, they built on it.
Daymond Langkow and Ladislav Nagy had a goal and an assist apiece and Mike Comrie scored his first goal with the Coyotes, who ended an eight-game winless streak by beating the Dallas Stars 3-2 Saturday night.
Phoenix scored three times in its first 11 shots—getting just enough of an edge to hold off a Dallas team that was 6-0-2 in eight previous games.
“The most impressive thing about tonight’s game was the fact we held on to it against a pretty good team,” coach Bob Francis said. “Up by two, the next challenge was to get that third one, which we didn’t do in that last game and haven’t done on a couple of occasions.”
“I think we relaxed tonight, played with composure and got the job done,” Boucher said.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan had two assists and won the first star for his work in the third period, which included forcing Stars goalie Marty Turco into a roughing penalty after Doan intercepted two clearing passes while bottling up Dallas in its own end.
Doan missed an empty net with 40 seconds to go, but figured in his team’s ability to hold on against six attackers the final 1:11. Phoenix was 0-6-1-1 since beating Detroit 5-2 on Jan. 24.
Turco, who leads the NHL in wins with 26, had 18 saves.
“They’re a desperate hockey team right now,” Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. “We have to come out and match that desperation. We’ve got to get our legs going, win some races to loose pucks.”
Morrow tightened the game with the only goal of the third period—a wrist shot over Boucher 4:05 in after a crossing pass from Bill Guerin glanced off Jason Arnott and went to Morrow. The sequence began with Mike Modano hitting the right goalpost.
The Coyotes’ skates figured in their first goal—Jan Hrdina kicked the puck to Nagy, whose crossing pass went in off Langkow’s skate 3:47 in.
Comrie, acquired Monday from Philadelphia for goalie Sean Burke, made it 2-0 with 40.1 seconds left in the first period.
The center, playing on the Flyers’ fourth line before the trade, has been skating with Doan, the Coyotes’ captain, and Brian Savage. The combination clicked when Doan got the puck to Savage on the left wing.
Savage pulled up above the circle and sent a shot off Turco’s pads. Comrie moved in from the right and flipped the rebound over the sprawling goalie on the far side.
In a pivotal sequence midway through the second period, Arnott got the puck past Boucher, but the goal was disallowed because Steve Ott drew a roughing penalty for scuffling with Tyson Nash of Phoenix.
“I grazed his cheek and he acted like his face fell off,” a disappointed Ott said.
The Coyotes capitalized when Doan passed across to Nagy, whose slap shot from the point went in through traffic 7:33 into the period and 56 seconds into Ott’s penalty.
“That third goal was big,” Doan said. “You know, we get the third one, and it makes a huge difference. We still have a two-goal lead when they score, and you’re still in control.”
Turgeon cut it to 3-1 at the 9:19 mark, scooping the puck over Boucher, but the goalie made nine more saves before the period ended and 13 more in thethird.
Phoenix won the season series 3-2-1. … The Coyotes improved to 3-7-2-2 at the new Glendale Arena, snapping a six-game winless streak at home (0-4-1-1). … Comrie’s goal was his fifth this season and first since Jan. 12against Pittsburgh.