Saturday, February 18, 2012
Coyotes down Stars in OT, 2-1
By Mark Stepneski
Radim Vrbata’s goal 1:15 into overtime lifted the Phoenix Coyotes to a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena. The loss dropped the Stars to 4-4-2 since the All-Star break, but with the point earned in the game the Stars moved to within three points of eighth place in the Western Conference.
Michael Ryder scored the lone goal for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 of 33 shots. The Stars fell to 3-1 in four-on-four overtime this season. Mike Smith stopped 30 of 31 shots for the Coyotes, who improved to 7-0-1 over their last eight games.
The Stars had the first good chance of the game, but Coyotes goalie Mike Smith made a sharp glove save on Michael Ryder’s close range bid 4:12 into the game.
Phoenix got the game’s first power play at the 5:50 mark and Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen came up big, making four saves including three on close range bids by Martin Hanzal.
The Stars thwarted a second Phoenix power play midway through the period, but the Coyotes got on the board following a Dallas turnover.
After Michael Ryder lost the puck in the Phoenix zone, the Coyotes headed the other way on an odd-man rush and Mikkel Boedker scored from the right circle at the 13:31 mark.
The Stars went on their first power play with 3:33 left in the period, but couldn’t cash in. Alex Goligoski had a point blank chance off a rebound, but Smith made the stop.
The Stars thought they had tied the game at 7:40 of the second when Tomas Vincour had scored off a rebound, but the goal was waved off because Adam Burish played the puck with a high stick just prior to the goal.
The Stars got 1:16 of five-on-three power play time midway through the period. They didn’t score on the two-man advantage but did cash in on the five-on-four when Michael Ryder scored off the rebound of a Mike Ribeiro shot to tie the game at 1-1 with 7:23 left in the period.
The Stars were able to kill off Phoenix’s fourth power play of the game late in the period and then went on their fifth of the game with 20 seconds left in the second, leaving them 1:40 of power play time to open the third period.
The Stars lost center Tom Wandell briefly during the period after he was hit in the mouth with a puck. He received some stitches in his lip and returned to the game.
The Stars weren’t able to take advantage of their power play to open the third period. They did have a lot of pressure early in the period but couldn’t get many quality chances on Smith.
Phoenix got its fifth power play chance of the game with 9:52 left in the game, but they couldn’t take advantage. Boedker did put a shot off the post.
The Coyotes lost center Kyle Chipchura in the third period. Coyotes center Martin Hanzal left the game in the second period and did not return. Both are listed as day-to-day.
Phoenix scored 1:15 into overtime to get the 2-1 victory. After the Stars won a defensive zone faceoff, Mark Fistric turned the puck over behind the Dallas net and Ray Whitney centered it to Radim Vrbata, who got Lehtonen to go down and then lifted the puck over him and into the net.
Injured: Benn (leg), Souray (foot), Morrow (shoulder/neck)