By Sean Shapiro, The Sports Xchange
DALLAS — Julius Honka scored with 1:15 remaining in overtime and the Dallas Stars beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on Tuesday at American Airlines Center.
Honka scored his first career goal on a slap shot from the slot after getting a pass from Jason Spezza.
“It feels good,” Honka said. “This time I’ve been up here I’ve had lots of chances. I’m happy it ended up like this. First goal. Overtime.”
Honka’s winning goal came after a dominant shift alongside Gemel Smith and Spezza. The Stars pinned the Coyotes in the zone and finally capitalized on Honka’s blast.
“Well, Smitty and the forward did a good job there at the end in the zone,” Honka said. “And I just wanted to make the three guys move there, I think they were pretty tired. It was the end of their shift, and I just wanted to shoot the puck. And (I’m) glad it went in.”
It was a frustrating end for Arizona (29-41-10), which had a two-game winning streak snapped.
“We couldn’t get a handle on (the puck), and that’s the way that 3-on-3 goes,” coach Dave Tippett said.
Antti Niemi made 24 saves for Dallas (33-36-11).
Arizona tied the game at 2-2 at 15:33 of the third period when Anthony Duclair finished off a pass from Max Domi from behind the net.
“He’s got to have something positive come out of the year,” Tippett said of Duclair. “One of the things he needs to bring to our team is scoring, so it’s good to see him get on the board a couple times. Hopefully, he can continue that and finish the regular year strong.”
Brett Ritchie gave Dallas a 1-0 lead at 13:54 of the first period after a horrendous giveaway by Arizona.
Christian Dvorak had a clean face-off win back to Anthony DeAngelo, who inadvertently passed the puck right to Ritchie, and the Stars forward turned it into his 16th goal of the season.
Tippett kept playing DeAngelo after the mistake.
“You want to see how he rebounds,” Tippett said. “He’s a young player. There’s going to be mistakes like that with young players. You’ve just got to find a way to get over them. He’s a real competitive guy. He competed hard, but some of those mistakes he’s got to learn from.”
The Stars took advantage of another turnover and Jason Dickinson made it 2-0 at 17:12 of the period. Adam Cracknell forced the turnover and Dickinson turned a one-on-one chance against Mike Smith into his first goal of the season and second of his career.
“Honestly I was gonna take it backside and take it to my backhand,” Dickinson said, “but he seemed to freeze as I made that little hesitation and the low blocker just opened up for me.”
On the very next shift, Dvorak scored on a rebound and Arizona cut the deficit to 2-1.
Dallas had a couple chances to add to its lead in an otherwise listless second period. At 7:58 of the period, Smith turned the puck over behind the net and Radek Faksa had a vacant net to shoot at. However, Peter Holland was in the right spot and blocked the shot with his right leg.
With less than 10 seconds remaining in the period, Spezza hit the crossbar over Smith’s right shoulder.