Coyotes lose steam, fall behind in loss to Stars
The Arizona Coyotes looked like a team pointed in the right direction against the Dallas Stars, jumping out to a 2-1 first-period lead.
But as soon as the second period began, the Coyotes were buried under the Stars’ heavy offense in a 5-2 loss on Friday at Mullett Arena.
“I don’t think we played with enough urgency today,” head coach Andre Tourigny said. “We offered them opportunities they should not have had in turnovers. There’s a way to play against that kind of team and I’m not sure our focus was at the right places.”
With the Stars closing in on a playoff spot, the Coyotes faced a team that didn’t hold back.
Climbing the ladder
Clayton Keller extended his point streak to 14 games after assisting on Juuso Valimaki’s goal at 5:32 in the first. Since March 5, Keller has 11 goals and 23 points. Keller sits four points back of tying Keith Tkachuk’s franchise single-season record (86) set in 1996-97.
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Valimaki received a feed from Keller near the point in the first 10 seconds of the power play and launched his shot.
“We always talk about shooting the puck early, so Kells and Boyd made nice plays there and I tried to test my luck and it went in,” Valimaki said.
Defensemen led the scoring for the Coyotes with Connor Mackey adding a goal of his own at 15:14 in the first. In the first, the Coyotes edged the Stars 9-8.
Containing the top line
The Coyotes were quickly overpowered by the Stars’ top line comprised of Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Joe Pavelski. The three did their damage in the game and had their handprints all over the offense with a combined seven points and three of the five goals.
While battling with Coyotes defenseman Patrik Nemeth up front, Pavelski redirected defenseman Esa Lindell’s shot at 1:23 into the game. The Stars capitalized on catching the Coyotes flatfooted again in the second period when Hintz went top shelf at 53 seconds in the second after the Coyotes killed off a penalty.
In the prior three games in the series, the Stars had tallied 63 shots in the slot against the Coyotes. Robertson buried his shot from the slot to take a 3-2 lead at 19:38 in the second.
“They play a really high-paced game where they’re on you the entire time, so you need to be willing to get through that and get in the next zone,” Tourigny said. “I don’t think we were hard enough on them, I don’t think we generated enough turnovers, we put them in a situation where they have to give us scoring chances because we were all over them. We did it by some spurts here and there, but we needed to be consistent.”
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Keller extends point streak, Coyotes fall behind in loss to Stars