By Steve Hunt | NHL.com Correspondent
DALLAS -- Mike Ribeiro scored the lone goal in the shootout as the Dallas Stars beat the Coyotes, 4-3, at American Airlines Center on Tuesday night to stay in first place in the Pacific Division.
The Coyotes (36-26-12) rallied from a 3-1 deficit after two periods to earn a point on third-period goals by Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Ray Whitney, then had several excellent chances to score goals in the overtime period. But Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped all five Phoenix shots in the extra period, sending the game to a shootout.
After Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith and Lehtonen made saves in the first round, Ribeiro raced in and made a nifty fake to get around Smith's poke check and put a backhander into an open net. Lehtonen then stopped Whitney and Coyotes captain Shane Doan for the win.
Lehtonen finished with 27 saves; Smith stopped 30 shots.
Dallas (40-28-5), which snapped a two-game losing streak, has 85 points and remains in first place in the Pacific Division. Phoenix, which began the night in seventh place, picked up a point and now has 84.
The Stars grabbed the lead 2:12 into the game when Loui Eriksson beat Smith to the short side with a breakaway wrister. Michael Ryder fed Eriksson, who streaked up the right side before burying a shot from the right faceoff dot for his 26th goal of the season.
However, that lead didn't hold up for long as the Coyotes tied the score at 5:14 when Lauri Korpikoski took Whitney's passout from the right corner and fired a slapper past Lehtonen for his 16th goal of the season.
The Stars went on the power play for the first time at 4:43 of the second period when Coyotes center Martin Hanzal was whistled for holding. Dallas capitalized 43 seconds later when Ryder knocked in a 15-foot slapper from the left side of the net for his career-high 31st goal.
Things got heated at 5:54 after Doan delivered an elbow to the face of Dallas center Jamie Benn and Stars captain Brenden Morrow went after Doan. Dallas' Steve Ott and Phoenix's Raffi Torres then had a confrontation, as did the Stars' Trevor Daley and Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla, resulting in a wave of penalties.
"I think it's a suspendable offense," Gulutzan said of Doan's hit. "He targeted the head with his elbow. The League will look at it for sure and then they'll decide, but it's deliberate."
Ryder made the score 3-1 at 14:42 of the second period when he beat Smith from almost the same spot where he scored his first goal of the night.
Photo by Getty Images.
Phoenix's Andrew Vermette tripped Stars forward Radek Dvorak at 7:33 of the third, but it was the Coyotes who got a boost when Ekman-Larsson scored a shorthanded goal at 8:51 to make it 3-2. Whitney tied the score at 3 with a power-play goal with 5:08 left in regulation (see KEY MOMENT below).
The Coyotes had a chance to go ahead with 2:40 left in regulation, but defenseman Keith Yandle missed an open net. Dallas had a chance of its own at regaining the lead but Smith denied a wrister by Eriksson with 1:24 left to preserve the tie.
Midway through overtime, the Stars lost Benn after he was checked hard into the end boards by Vermette. Benn fell as he was making his way back to the bench before making his way down the tunnel to the locker room. He did return for the shootout.
Lehtonen came up big at 3:16 of overtime when he denied a shot by Ekman-Larsson with a diving pad save that sent the puck into the protective net behind the Stars goal.
"Yeah, that's a really good save. I think I hit the pad there, so yeah, almost," Ekman-Larsson said.
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com edited this story and compiled this recap.
Leading 3-2, the Stars gift-wrapped a golden opportunity for the Coyotes with 5:30 left when they were called for too many men on the ice.
Phoenix took advantage when Ray Whitney beat Kari Lehtonen top-shelf with a wrister from the slot for the equalizer.
Shane Doan set up the goal by stealing the puck from Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray in the middle of the ice.
► Click here to see the KEY MOMENT.
• Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson played a season-high 31:01 and scored his 12th goal of the season. Only four other NHL defensemen have scored more goals than Ekman-Larsson this season. They are: Erik Karlsson (19), Jason Garrison (15), Shea Weber (14) and Niklas Kronwall (14).
• Center Kyle Chipchura, who missed 14 games because of an upper-body injury, returned to the lineup and played 7:45.
• Left wing Ray Whitney notched his 23nd goal of the season and an assist. He now has 995 points in his NHL career.
• The Coyotes earned nine of a possible 12 points (3-0-3) in six games vs. Dallas this season.
• The Coyotes' next game is Thursday vs. the Colorado Avalanche 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).
"I thought our guys came out with a mindset that we're just going to go hard at them in the third and find something. If you look at the last part of the game and the overtime, it's a game we deserved to win."
"It's tough (being down by two goals). We've been in that spot too many times. We're spending too much energy chasing from behind."
"I think we did some good things, but we've got to find ways to keep that two-goal lead and not give those guys chances to get back in the game."
• Oct. 10, 2011: DAL 2, PHX 1 (SO) • Feb. 7, 2012: PHX 4, DAL 1 • March 20, 2012: DAL 4, PHX 3 (SO)
• Oct. 25, 2011: DAL 3, PHX 2 (SO)
• Nov. 26, 2011: PHX 3, DAL 0
• Feb. 26, 2012: PHX 2, DAL 1 (OT)