By Dave Vest | Anthony Perez
Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
made a career-high 44 saves to lead the Coyotes to a 2-1 shootout victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night at Jobing.com Arena.
With the win, the Coyotes climbed to 95 points and remained in fourth place in the congested Western Conference standings with four games left in their season.
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to see the conference standings.
Bryzgalov allowed Stars forward Jamie Benn to score a goal in the second period and another one in the first round of the shootout. Aside from that, Bryzgalov was perfect.
“He was a focused guy all day today so we knew he would have a bounce-back game,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “You watch him in morning skate and he’s just really dialed in. He was solid.”
scored a goal in the second round of the shootout and Ray Whitney
clinched the win by scoring a goal in the fifth round. For Whitney, it was his first shootout goal in four tries this season.
The Coyotes twice hit posts with shots - one by Taylor Pyatt
and the other by Rostislav Klesla
- before starting the scoring. Phoenix eventually took a 1-0 lead at the 12:09 mark of the second period when David Schlemko
fired a shot from the point through traffic and past Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen just three seconds after Phoenix’s lone power play expired.
Dallas drew even when Benn scored a power-play goal at 17:34 of the second period with Coyotes center Vernon Fiddler
sitting in the penalty box for hooking.
There was no scoring in the third period nor the overtime, although the teams combined for 25 shots during that time.
After Coyotes captain Shane Doan
failed to score in Phoenix’s half of the shootout’s first round, Benn beat Bryzgalov with a shot Bryzgalov believed he’d saved.
|Photo by Getty Images.
In the second round, Vrbata, who is 6 for 9 in shootouts this season, backhanded a shot past Lehtonen to put the pressure back on Dallas.
Neither team scored in the next two rounds, but Whitney’s attempt trickled through Lehtonen’s legs and into the goal in the fifth. With a chance to force a sixth round, Loui Eriksson had his attempt stopped by Bryzgalov and Phoenix’s on-ice celebration began.
"I felt good, but I'm sure I lost a couple of pounds," Bryzgalov said of his busy night. "But it's OK, I was overweight anyway."
With the victory, the Coyotes moved to 3-2-0 on their season-high six-game homestand that concludes on Friday against the Colorado Avalanche.
A goal scored by Coyotes forward Lee Stempniak
late in the second period was waved off after referee Kelly Sutherland ruled that forward Taylor Pyatt
made incidental contact with Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen in the crease before the puck crossed the goal line.
Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett didn't understand the call.
"I understand incidental contact but (Pyatt was) two feet outside the crease," Tippett said. "Where do you want him to go, away from him? It's a tough call for the referees and I can see them protecting the goalies. We'd probably be mad if somebody was in Bryz's face, but you have to be consistent. As the desperation gets higher, you get closer and go harder to the net and you'll see more of that."
• Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
moved into a tie with Bob Essensa atop the franchise's all-time wins list. Both have 129 victories.
• Center Vernon Fiddler
returned to the lineup after missing Saturday's game vs. San Jose because of a lower-body injury. Though not playing at 100 percent health, Fiddler logged 20:42 of ice time, delivered four hits and won 10 of 19 faceoffs.
• Center Andrew Ebbett
won 10 of 13 faceoffs.
• The Coyotes scratched Paul Bissonnette
, Oliver Ekman-Larsson
, Martin Hanzal
(lower-body injury) and Lauri Korpikoski
• The Coyotes' next game is Friday vs. Colorado at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).