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Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:49 AM
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Phoenix Coyotes 3, Dallas Stars 2

By Dave Vest
DALLAS – The Coyotes, a team many observers in and around the NHL community left for dead before the season started, have climbed into first place in the Pacific Division standings and are tied for the most points in the Western Conference.

That’s right. Phoenix has officially risen.

Adrian Aucoin – aka ‘The Closer’ – and Radim Vrbata scored shootout goals to lead the Coyotes to a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday at the American Airlines Center. Vrbata’s goal came with Phoenix down 1-0 in the bottom of the third round and Aucoin, per usual, ended the game by scoring his goal in the fourth round.

The victory was Phoenix’s ninth in a row and it enabled the Coyotes to set a new franchise record for points in a season (97). The Coyotes will look to set another franchise mark – 10 consecutive wins – on Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks, the only team above them in the conference standings.

Regarding being in first place in the division with three weeks left in the season, Aucoin said: “We’ve earned it. There’s no doubt about it.”

Brad Richards scored in the first round of the shootout for Dallas, but Coyotes backup goalie Jason LaBarbera stopped the next three attempts by the Stars to win his fourth straight decision.

The Coyotes (46-22-5) arrived in Dallas at 3 a.m. on Sunday after beating Chicago in Glendale on Saturday night. The team’s plane had to land during a snowstorm, which made sleeping on the plane a bit challenging because of turbulence. Nevertheless, the Coyotes played with energy on Sunday and were able to jump out to a 2-0 lead on the Stars.

''Every night I say I'm concerned about this or that, and they just keep coming up with big efforts,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. “... I thought our guys came out and played very well and fortunately we got another shootout win.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: Click here to listen to all of Tippett's post-game remarks.

Coyotes forward Petr Prucha scored a goal from in front of the Dallas net with less than one second left in the first period during the second of Phoenix’s six power plays.

Vrbata set up Prucha’s goal with a slick pass from the left wing. Vrbata scored a power-play goal himself at 2:23 of the second period with a snap shot from the left circle.

Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson scored goals for Dallas (31-27-14), which likely won’t make the NHL playoffs for a second consecutive season. Eriksson’s goal at 7:11 of the third period tied the score at 2.

"Give our guys lots of credit," Stars Head Coach Marc Crawford said. "No quit in them. They kept fighting. They battled hard. We got a point out of it, but at the same time, those things just crush you."
Coyotes backup goalie Jason LaBarbera made 30 saves, but none was prettier or more important than the diving glove stop he made on a backhanded shot by Stars rookie Jamie Benn with 3:00 left in the third period.
Adrian Aucoin is 5-for-5 in shootouts this season, and all five of his goals have clinched victories for the Coyotes. "I just go in there and shoot it," Aucoin said. "I don't want to deke or lose the puck."

• The Coyotes have won 12 of 16 shootouts this season, including eight in a row. Five of those eight have come during Phoenix's nine-game winning streak.

• The previous franchise record for points in a season was 96, set by the Winnipeg Jets in 1984-85.

• Defenseman Ed Jovanovski blocked five shots.

• Defenseman Jim Vandermeer returned to the lineup after a five-game absence, but he played forward on the fourth line with Petteri Nokelainen and Lauri Korpikoski instead of on the blue line. He logged 4:47 of ice time and took one shot on goal. Defenseman Sami Lepisto also got back into the lineup in place of Mathieu Schneider, who was given a rest.

• The Coyotes scratched Paul Bissonnette, Robert Lang, Mathieu Schneider, Viktor Tikhonov and Daniel Winnik. Dallas scratched Fabian Brunnstrom, Mike Modano and Matt Niskanen.
"We want to keep (the winning streak) as long as we can. As we've said all season, we want to try to find points every game and that's what we're doing right now." "For a team that's not supposed to have a lot of skill, we're finding ways to win, especially in a shootout. We just have so much confidence in this room right now and I think that's the big difference.” "We got it back in the third (period), but we need all the points we can get and we lost one today."
Vrbata LaBarbera Eriksson
Vrbata Benn
  • Jan. 31, 2010: PHX 4, DAL 2
  • Feb. 6, 2010: DAL 4, PHX 0
  • March 21, 2010: PHX 3, DAL 2 (SO)

  • Nov. 14, 2009: PHX 3, DAL 2
  • Nov. 27, 2009: PHX 5, DAL 2
  • Feb. 13, 2010: DAL 3, PHX 0

scoring summary
1st Period
PPG - Petr Prucha (13) ASST: Radim Vrbata (19), Martin Hanzal (22)
1 - 0 PHX
2nd Period
PPG - Radim Vrbata (23) ASST: Adrian Aucoin (20), Ed Jovanovski (21)
2 - 0 PHX
Jamie Benn (19) ASST: Stephane Robidas (28), Nicklas Grossmann (7)
2 - 1 PHX
3rd Period
Loui Eriksson (26) ASST: Brad Richards (59), Brenden Morrow (24)
2 - 2 Tie
OT Period
1B. RichardsW. Wolski
2L. ErikssonL. Korpikoski
3M. RibeiroR. Vrbata
4S. OttA. Aucoin
penalty summary
1st Period
Steve Ott  Interference against  Lauri Korpikoski
Brenden Morrow  Slashing against  Adrian Aucoin
2nd Period
James Neal  Hi-sticking against  Keith Yandle
Trevor Daley  Slashing against  Lee Stempniak
Zbynek Michalek  Holding the stick against  James Neal
3rd Period
Adrian Aucoin  Interference against  James Neal
James Neal  Interference against  Zbynek Michalek
Stephane Robidas  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
Martin Hanzal  Tripping against  Brad Richards
OT Period
goalie stats
Jason LaBarbera
Jason LaBarbera
SA: 32TOI: 65:00
Saves: 30EV: 27 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .938SH: 1 - 1
Marty Turco
Marty Turco
SA: 35TOI: 65:00
Saves: 33EV: 30 - 30
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 5
SV%: .943SH: 0 - 0 is the official Web site of the Arizona Coyotes. The Arizona Coyotes and are trademarks of IceArizona Hockey Co LP. NHL, NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL Logos and marks NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 2015 The Arizona Coyotes and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Contact us | Site Map