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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
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
Final
WASH 10
ARST 24
 
3rd
HAW 10
NEV 9
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14