By Dave Vest | Anthony Perez GLENDALE -- The Coyotes posted a late rally vs. Dallas on Tuesday night at Jobing.com Arena, but the Stars got the last goal - and the last laugh - and won 3-2.
Dallas forward Jamie Benn scored a power-play goal with just 4.8 seconds left as the Stars snapped a three-game losing streak to the Coyotes and Phoenix's five-game home winning streak at the same time.
Benn’s goal capped a frantic conclusion to what had been a ho-hum defensive game that featured just one goal in the first 52-plus minutes.
Trailing 2-0, Rostislav Klesla, who was playing in his first game in a Coyotes sweater following Monday’s trade from Columbus, cut the deficit in half at the 16:21 mark of the third period when his wrist shot beat Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen. Kyle Turris set up the goal with a slick pass from the right boards.
Later, In the game's final minute, the Coyotes pulled goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov for an extra attacker and the move paid off when Shane Doan fed Ray Whitney a pass in the slot that Whitney one-timed past Lehtonen with just 38 seconds left to tie the score. The goal created euphoria in the arena, but it didn't last long.
Moments after Whitney's goal, Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata was called for hooking Mike Ribeiro. Eight seconds into the power play, Stars forward Loui Eriksson found Benn open near the right faceoff circle and Benn beat Bryzgalov with a shot with just 4.8 seconds left.
The defeat stung the Coyotes (33-22-10), who are 0-3-1 since a recent eight-game winning streak.
"We've got to look at it right in the teeth and say 'what's going on,'" Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "That's two games this week we've lost because of penalties. At some point, we've got to get it and we'll look it straight in the face and take the challenge. We better or it's not a good thing."
Photo by Getty Images.
The Stars (34-23-6), who have won three games in a row, started to build their two-goal lead at the 18:16 mark of the first period when Tom Wandell’s slap shot beat Bryzgalov.
After a scoreless second period, the Stars took a two-goal advantage at the 12:47 mark of the third period when Jamie Langenbrunner knocked the puck past Bryzgalov with his left skate from in close.
Lehtonen stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced to pick up his 26th win of the season, while Bryzgalov stopped 27 of the 30 shots he faced in the losing effort.
Despite the loss, the Coyotes remain in fourth place in the Western Conference standings with 76 points, four points behind third-place San Jose and one point ahead of fifth-place Calgary.
► Click here to see the standings in both conferences.
Tied 2-2 and seemingly headed to overtime, Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata was called for hooking with 13 seconds left in the third period. The Stars needed just eight seconds to turn the penalty into a power-play goal. Forward Jamie Benn scored it with a one-timer from the slot.
• Defenseman Rostislav Klesla made his debut with the Coyotes after being acquired in a trade with Columbus on Monday. Klesla, playing his first game since Jan. 22 because of a lower-body injury, logged 17:24 of ice time, took two shots on goal, scored a goal, delivered a hit and blocked a shot. "He'll take some time to get up to speed and figure out how we do things here," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "But it was a good start for him. He got thrown into a very important game and, not playing for a while, I thought he meshed pretty well. But I think there's still better in him."
• This loss was the first loss for the Coyotes on home ice since Feb. 2 - a 6-0 defeat to Vancouver. Phoenix will play eight of its next 13 games in Glendale.
• Captain Shane Doan assisted on both of Phoenix's goals.
• The Coyotes' next game is Thursday vs. Los Angeles at the Staples Center. The puck drops at 8:30 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).
"It is what it is. We lost the game. It’s an awful way to lose a game. We lost the game with four seconds left. It doesn’t matter if we come back, we might as well not even have done that."
"We find a way to come back and then they got the goal late. That can’t happen. We’ve got to be able to make a stop and take that game to overtime and get that point at least."
"For 55 minutes, we play a great defensive game, and then we fell off it a little bit. But this team has kept on going, kept on pushing through things all year, no matter what comes up. And we did it again tonight."
• Nov. 5, 2010: DAL 6, PHX 3 • Dec. 26, 2010: PHX 1, DAL 0 • Feb. 9, 2011: PHX 3, DAL 2
• Dec. 11, 2010: PHX 5, CHI 2 • March 1, 2011: DAL 3, PHX 2
• March 29, 2011:
1 - 0 DAL
2 - 0 DAL