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(Tuesday, March 20th)
Final Score: Dallas 4, Phoenix 3 (SO)
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Mike Ribeiro scored the game-winning goal in the second round of the shootout, giving the Dallas Stars a crucial 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in a key Pacific Division battle.
Ribeiro picked up the puck and went in on Coyotes' netminder Mike Smith with speed. Smith lunged out and went for the poke-check, but Ribeiro pulled it back in time and easily slid it into the empty cage.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan had a chance to extend the shootout, but he was stopped by Kari Lehtonen, sealing the win for the Stars.
Ribeiro added three assists in regulation, while Loui Eriksson scored and had two helpers and Michael Ryder scored twice and had one assist for the Stars, who have won seven of their last nine games, and moved into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division with 85 points. Lehtonen finished with 27 saves in the victory.
"(Ryder) and (Eriksson) are elite players," said Ribeiro. "They can score, they can pass, they play well defensively. They do everything right on the ice."
Ray Whitney had a goal and an assist, while Lauri Korpikoski and Oliver Ekman- Larsson scored and Doan finished with two helpers for the Coyotes, who sit in ninth place in the Western Conference. Smith gave up three goals on 33 shots in defeat.
"Some guys I know weren't 100 percent, but they gave us everything they got," said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett. "We found a way to get a point and now we move on."
The Stars struck just 2:12 into the contest after Ryder found a loose puck in the neutral zone on the left wing and fired a cross-ice pass to Eriksson, who cruised to the right circle and ripped a wrist shot high past Smith.
The Coyotes answered right back just over three minutes later when Whitney out-battled two Dallas checkers in the left corner and found Korpikoski, who blasted a one-timer from the high slot past Lehtonen.
Ryder struck twice in the second period to give Dallas a 3-1 lead.
His first tally of the game occurred at the 5:26 mark of the stanza while on the power play. Holding the puck along the right wing wall, Ribeiro sent a pass down low to Eriksson on the goal line. Eriksson stepped out front and sent it over to Ryder, who easily tapped it home.
Ryder struck again at 14:42 of the second frame after he jammed home a rebound off the stick of Eriksson.
Phoenix made it 3-2 with a shorthanded tally at 8:51 of the third period after Daymond Langkow brought the puck into the offensive zone on the rush, and found Ekman-Larsson trailing the play. Ekman-Larsson quickly fired it through the five hole of Lehtonen.
Skating with the man advantage, the Coyotes knotted the game at three with just 5:02 to play after Doan stole the puck from Stars defenseman Sheldon Souray in the neutral zone, quickly turned and found a wide open Whitney at the blue line. Whitney moved to the left circle and ripped a perfect shot over the shoulder of Lehtonen and just under the crossbar.
Eight of the last ten games between these two clubs have been decided by one goal...Dallas improved to 11-2-1 record its last 14 games...It was the 750th victory for the Dallas Stars franchise...Ryder established a new career-high with 32 goals this season...Both teams went 1-for-4 with the man advantage...The Stars will host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, while the Coyotes will host the Avs on Thursday.
03/21 02:35:27 ET
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