Join Date: May 2002
n a game that featured playoff-type intensity and plenty of excitement, the Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars each earned a point in their first of six meetings against each other this season.
Branko Radivojevic’s second goal of the game with just 50 seconds remaining in regulation earned the Coyotes a 3-3 tie against the Dallas Stars on Friday night in front 18,532 at the American Airlines Center._ The tie improved the Coyotes record to 5-6-4-1 on the season, while the Stars are now winless in their last five games.
“We knew coming into Friday’s game that we were facing a team that was hungry for a win,” said Coyotes head coach Bob Francis._ “The Stars were desperate for a win, but at the same time we battled hard and again we showed the resiliency our team possesses.”
The Coyotes rallied twice from one-goal deficits in the third period to force their fourth straight overtime game._ For Radivojevic, it was the second straight night in which he scored a very timely goal for Phoenix and helped the club earn at least a point.
“Our team will not quit and we have shown that many times this season,” said Radivojevic, who is now tied for second on the team in goals with five and has three markers in his last two contests._ “We keep stressing that if we work hard and hang in there, we will have success._ We were down a couple of times, but we were never out.”
Coyotes goaltender Brian Boucher, who hadn’t started a game in almost a month, ended up as a key contributor in Friday night’s tie._ Boucher was making his first start since October 16 at Tampa Bay and was very steady for Phoenix between the pipes._ He ended the night stopping 32 of the 35 shots he faced.
“I felt really strong entering the game and obviously I was excited to be back in game action,” said Boucher, who stopped all 10 of the shots he faced in the first period keeping the game scoreless for Phoenix._ “When you are not seeing game action very often, it will take some time to adjust back to the flow of a game, but overall I felt pretty good and happy we earned a point.”
After a scoreless first period, the Coyotes opened the scoring midway through the second period when Radivojevic scored a power play goal at 11:58 of the middle period giving Phoenix a 1-0 lead._
“I skated down the right wing and realized I had time so I just let it rip,” said Radivojevic._ “I was able to shoot the puck high and it just touched the inside of the near post and stayed in the net.”
Phoenix’s lead was short-lived as Dallas applied pressure and ended up tying the score at 1-1 when Scott Young scored on the power play at 15:42 of the second period.
The game remained tied heading into the third period and it didn’t take long for Dallas to obtain the lead for the first time in the game._ Bill Guerin picked up a lose puck at 7:38 of the final period and wristed his 11th goal of the year past Boucher giving the Stars a 2-1 advantage._
The lead lasted less than two minutes as defenseman Radoslav Suchy one-timed a Krystofer Kolanos pass behind Stars goaltender Marty Turco at 9:28 of the third period tying the score at 2-2._ The Coyotes continued their momentum and ended up on a power play briefly after Suchy’s goal._ On Phoenix’s man advantage, it was Dallas that regained the lead at 3-2 when Rob DiMaio registered a shorthanded tally at 12:34._
“We battled back hard to tie the score, but we ended up giving it right back when they scored on our power play,” said Suchy, who now has set a career high for goals in a season with five._ “We continued to skate and we played with a lot of energy down the stretch.”
After Radivojevic tied the game with his second goal of the contest with 50 seconds remaining in regulation, Phoenix ended up on a power play in overtime when Mike Modano was whistled for tripping Ladislav Nagy._ The Coyotes had several quality chances, but couldn’t net the game-winner.
Phoenix will travel to Columbus on Saturday for a match up against the Blue Jackets on Sunday afternoon._ Game time is 3:00 p.m. and can only be heard on 93.3 KDKB (FM) and 1060 KDUS (AM).
NEWS AND NOTES
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON – Prior to Friday’s game, it was announced that Stars head coach Dave Tippett had to have emergency neck surgery to remove a disc and associate coach Rick Wilson would be the bench boss against the Coyotes._ Wilson is the father of Coyotes right wing Landon Wilson._ With both Rick and Landon participating in Friday’s game, it was the third time Landon and the Coyotes faced Dallas with Rick serving as head coach of the Stars._ The first time was on Feb. 26, 2001 in Phoenix (W, 5-1) and on March 22, 2001 in Dallas (L, 4-3)._ According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only three times in National Hockey League history has a son faced his father as head coach of the opposing team._ Between 1982-83 and 1986-87, Mark Johnson (played with both Hartford and New Jersey) faced his father Bob Johnson who coached the Calgary Flames on 15 occasions._ The only other time was on Feb. 2, 1993, Gord Dineen (now an assistant with the Coyotes primary development affiliate, Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League) playing with the Ottawa Senators faced his father, Bill Dineen who was coaching the Philadelphia Flyers._ Ironically, Coyotes assistant Rick Bowness was the head coach of the Ottawa Senators in that game.
PASSING OF THE TORCH – After 1,098 games with the Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets organization, defenseman Teppo Numminen went up against the Coyotes for the first time in his career on Friday night.
“I have been trying to treat it just like any other game, but obviously it is tough to handle it that way,” said Numminen, who was the Coyotes captain for the previous two seasons.___ “It is nice to see guys like Shane (Doan) who have become the leaders of the team._ Doaner was a great choice to wear the captaincy and I was going up against a lot of friends, so it was a meaningful night.”
OVERTIME LEADERS – With Phoenix playing in their fourth straight overtime game on Friday night, they are once again tied for the League lead in overtime games with eight._ They have a record of 3-1-4 in the extra session this year.
TONIGHT’S LINE COMBINATIONS
Ladislav Nagy – Jan Hrdina – Branko Radivojevic
Brian Savage – Daymond Langkow – Shane Doan
Daniel Cleary – Krystofer Kolanos – Mike Sillinger
Tyson Nash – Chris Gratton – Landon Wilson
Ossi Vaananen – David Tanabe
Radoslav Suchy – Matthew Spiller
Paul Mara – Cale Hulse
TONIGHT’S STARTING GOALTENDERS
Phoenix – Brian Boucher (1 game, 0-1-0, 5.00 gaa, .839 save perecentage)
Dallas – Marty Turco (15 games, 6-7-1, 2.55 gaa, .883 save percentage)
Phoenix – Mike Johnson (Shoulder), Zac Bierk (Hip Flexor), Brad Ference (Healthy), Andrei Nazarov (Healthy)
Dallas – Aaron Downy (Hip Flexor), Jere Lehtinen (Back Spasms), Trevor Daley (Healthy), Antti Mlettinen (Healhy), Don Sweeney (Healthy)