Only the goal post prevented Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan from his first career hat trick. Doan, the active career leader in two-goal games without a hat trick, scored twice and hit the left post late in the third period as the Coyotes beat the Dallas Stars 5-2 Saturday night.
"It's one of those things where I'd like to get it but there wouldn't be a story if I did," said Doan, who scored two goals for the 35th time. "The first thing is the win. After that you would like to get one but I guess it will come another day." Doan played extended shifts in the final minutes and was receiving encouragement from teammates on and off the ice.
"That just shows how much admiration there is from the other players for him when all the players are shouting, 'shoot, shoot' just like the fans," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. Lauri Korpikoski scored a critical short-handed goal early in the third, Keith Yandle had a goal and two assists and Ray Whitney added a goal and an assist for the Coyotes, who won for the second time in three games to move within two points of the Pacific Division-leading Stars.
James Neal and Loui Eriksson scored for the Stars, who have lost three of four. With the Coyotes leading 3-1, Ed Jovanovski was whistled for a high elbow less than a minute into the third period. Korpikoski took a long outlet pass from Vernon Fiddler, skated down the center of the ice and slid the puck under Andrew Raycroft's pads with 18:58 to go.
"We take a penalty and if they score it's 3-2," Tippett said. "But now it's 4-1 and it pushes the game along for us." Yandle capped an odd-man rush with a goal to give the Cooytes a 5-1 lead with about 9½ minutes remaining. Eriksson scored the Stars' only power-play goal on seven chances with 2:24 left.
"We've got to converge on the net, have net traffic and keep shooting," Stars coach Marc Crawford said. "It's no great secret. Every team in the league's trying to do the same thing." Whitney gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead at 6:11 of the first period, scoring between Raycroft's pads off a pass from Radim Vrbata from behind the net. Phoenix made it 2-0 just 78 seconds later. Eric Belanger stole the puck near center ice, skated into the Dallas zone and slid the puck right to Doan for a quick wrist shot.
"The first goal from behind the net, too easy," Crawford said. "The second goal off the giveaway, way too easy." Doan made it 3-0 with 23 seconds left in the period, firing home a rebound into the open right side of the net after Raycroft saved Whitney's shot from the left faceoff circle. Neal pulled the Stars within 3-1 at 3:11 of the second period, taking advantage of a partial screen from teammate Tom Wandell and bouncing a puck off the right post and past Ilya Bryzgalov.