DALLAS -- Loui Eriksson netted the game-winner with 6:55 left in the third period as the Dallas Stars handed the Phoenix Coyotes a 4-3 defeat before a sellout crowd of 18,532 at American Airlines Center.
Eriksson found the back of the net for the first time this season with a well-placed wrister from the slot after a great pass from new Dallas teammate Jaromir Jagr, who had two goals and an assist in the win. Eriksson had assisted on Jagr's first tally of the night, which came with 1:24 left in the opening period.
Phoenix was paced offensively by Radim Vrbata, who had two goals and an assist in a losing effort. After Dallas led 1-0 at the first intermission, the Coyotes scored two unanswered, both coming on the power play with one from Lauri Korpikoski and the other by Vrbata to lead 2-1 with 8:07 left in the second period.
However, Jagr's second tally of the night with 1:22 left before the second intermission made it 2-2 heading into the final period, a frame which Dallas opened on the power play. Just 31 seconds into the third, Stars winger Ray Whitney, another of the club's key off-season additions, made Phoenix pay, putting Dallas ahead 3-2 after burying an 18-footer in the back of the visiting net.
Vrbata tied it yet again at 3-3 just 3:30 into the final period, scoring on a breakaway after Dallas defenseman Jordie Benn lost possession of the puck in his own end. The Stars won their third straight season opener while Phoenix lost its opener for just the second time in seven seasons.
NOTES: RW Jaromir Jagr scored in his Dallas debut with the 666th goal of his storied career in the opening period. ... Saturday's game marked the start of the Stars' 20th season in Texas after the club relocated from Minnesota in 1993. ... The Coyotes and Stars each play again on Sunday. Phoenix will host Chicago while Dallas travels to Minnesota ... Besides Jagr, C Cody Eakin, C Derek Roy and LW Ray Whitney each made their Dallas debuts while C Matthew Lombardi, D Zybnek Michalek, RW David Moss and LW Steve Sullivan debuted for the Coyotes. ... Dallas played its first game without C Jamie Benn, a restricted free agent and 2012 All-Star who finished second on the team with 63 points last season. Benn, 23, and the Stars have not been able to reach terms on a new contract.