Coyotes take opener on the chin; Lose 4-3 to Stars


My pappy told me as a youngster…..Too many shots of Jagr on a Saturday night can make you sick. Or maybe it was too many shots of Jaeger would make me drunk. Either way the Coyotes will wake up Sunday morning feeling a little hungover.

An oldie but goodie surfaced for yet another team scoring 2 goals to lead the Dallas Stars to a tough fought 4-3 win to open the 2013 season. Radim Vrbata had a performance with 2 goals of his own. Mike Smith was measured and weighed at American Airlines Center. Not what you would expect from Smith who only faced 26 shots but allowed 4 of them past him and almost a 5th. Lehtonen was peppered for 40 shots including 1 on a breakaway but allowed just 3 holding his own late with a ferocious effort by the road team.

Jan 19, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Phoenix Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) is checked into the glass during the first period against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

An early power outage turned into a flurry of punches back and forth.  Jagr got the party started late in the opening stanza to give the Stars a 1-0 lead. Back came the pack in the 2nd with 2 goals to take their only lead of the game. POWER PLAY goals. Korpikoski and Vrbata both got the much maligned special teams going for the Coyotes.

Former Coyote Ray Whitney quickly opened the 3rd period with a nice goal that had to be bitter sweet for both sides. Erickson would get the game winner and nothing the Coyotes could do taking a penalty late could change the outcome.

In the end the Coyotes were seeing Stars in a tough opening loss. This season losses feel twice as bad with a shortened season. Game winner for Dallas came in the last part of the 3rd period to send Phoenix home with no points on a night where it seemed they would get both or at least one at the worst.

Not the start wanted but a lot of positives and some negatives surfaced Saturday night. First not to sound redundant but Smith will not allow 4 goals on 26 shots often and if we continue to get off 40 shots we should win a lot of games in the process. Also the power play showing life.

Flying home to face Chicago less than 24 hours is the angry Coyotes who will seek to grab 2 points after seeing it’s Pacific Division banner raised in front of a sellout crowd. Puck drops at 8pm AZ time.