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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, April 13th (All times Eastern)

Dallas Stars (40-30-11) at Phoenix Coyotes (36-30-15), 9 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Thanks to a recent victory over one of the top teams in the NHL, the Dallas Stars won't be fighting for their playoff lives on Sunday night.

Instead, the wild card winners can use this evening's matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes as a tune up before making their first postseason appearance in six years.

Dallas was in a battle with Phoenix for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, but coupled a recent slump by the Coyotes with Friday's 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues to officially clinch the spot.

Thanks to 22 saves by Kari Lehtonen in his fifth shutout of the season and 27th of his career, the Stars are in the postseason for the first time since 2008. Dallas will take on the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks in the opening round.

"We believe we can win. We know how tough it is. I've been through those first round series and they're tough," said Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff. "They're physical and there's a lot of emotion in the first round. We've hardened ourselves by getting in the playoffs via the route we've taken."

Tyler Seguin and Ryan Garbutt both scored while Trevor Daley supplied a goal and an assist. Jamie Benn contributed two assists for Dallas, which won two of three on its final homestand of the regular season.

In his first season with the Stars, Seguin leads the club with 37 goals, 47 assists and 84 points -- all career highs -- while Benn is second with 34 goals, 45 helpers and 79 points. Benn has four goals and four assists over a five-game point streak.

The Coyotes saw their playoff-damaging losing streak reach seven straight games (0-4-3) with last night's 3-2 setback to the San Jose Sharks. Mike Doan and Mike Ribeiro had the goals, giving Phoenix nine tallies over its seven- game skid.

"It's a frustrating time. You're in this business to win," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett. "When you're close and you're not winning, it's probably even more frustrating. That's the worst thing about these games coming down the stretch. We've given points away that would have certainly helped the cause."

Mark Visentin made 29 saves to lose his NHL debut. The 27th overall pick of the 2010 draft was recalled from the minors one day after No. 1 netminder Mike Smith suffered a lower-body injury on March 24. Thomas Greiss started eight games in a row in Smith's place before last night's contest.

The Coyotes are 0-2 versus the Stars this season and have lost five of the previous seven meetings overall. Dallas snapped a four-game series road losing streak with a 3-1 victory on Feb. 4.

04/13 11:01:44 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
7:00pm Tonight
GT
UNC
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
Final
MIA 7
FIU 2
 
Final
DET 12
FLASO 2
 
1:05pm Today
DET
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
MIAFLA
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
NEASTERN
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
PIT
 
3:05pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
3:05pm Today
OAK
SFG
 
4:05pm Today
BOS
BOSTONCOLL
 
5:10pm Tonight
ARI
ASU
 
Final
PHI 103
TOR 114
Final
BRK 110
GSW 108
Final
MIA 115
PHO 98
Final
MIN 105
LAC 110
Final
DAL 102
NOP 93
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
7:00pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
HOU
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
UTA
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
MIL
Final
TEX 61
BAY 59
Final
SYR 47
UVA 59
Final
SHSU 76
CARK 49
 
Final
NWST 92
SELA 79
 
Final
NCAT 67
COOK 50
 
Final
HOW 61
NORST 59
 
Final
DELST 85
HAMP 75
 
Final
STEPH 83
INCWORD 62
 
Final
MCNST 70
LAM 69
 
Final
NO 79
NICST 89
 
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
Final
ALAAM 75
TXSOU 77
 
Final
VT 59
BC 66
Final
MVSU 66
GRAM 62
 
Final
ISU 77
OKLA 70
Final
ALAST 65
PVU 67
 
Final
ARKPB 64
JST 62
 
7:00pm Tonight
UMO
AKR
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
ARMY
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
EMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUT
GEOR
7:00pm Tonight
IND
IOWA
7:00pm Tonight
FLGC
JVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
USCU
KNST
 
7:00pm Tonight
BGU
KSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
NKENTUCKY
LIP
 
7:00pm Tonight
HC
GHND
 
7:00pm Tonight
RUTG
MD
7:00pm Tonight
GT
UNC
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
OHIO
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
MISS
7:00pm Tonight
DAY
RIU
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
TOL
 
7:00pm Tonight
DET
YOUNG
7:30pm Tonight
UNF
STET
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
HOUB
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
NEOM
 
8:00pm Tonight
NILL
WMICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLCH
WRST
9:00pm Tonight
MIZZ
AUB
9:00pm Tonight
UGA
KENT
9:00pm Tonight
NW
MICH
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
9:00pm Tonight
UF
TEXAM
9:00pm Tonight
KU
WVU
9:15pm Tonight
CREI
VILL
Final
NYR 4
NAS 1
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
Final
SJS 4
MON 0
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
NAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
BUF
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
OTT
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYI
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
ANA
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
LOS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
SJS