Final Score: Dallas 2, Phoenix 1
Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Kari Lehtonen turned aside 26 shots as the Dallas Stars held on for a 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at American Airlines Center.
Ray Whitney and Valeri Nichushkin supplied the goals for the Stars, who have won three of their last four. Dallas is now 4-1-1 and has two shutouts in their last six games at home.
"Kari was rock solid," Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff said of Lehtonen. "Maybe he wasn't challenged with a ton of saves but he had to make a couple of real nice saves for us at key times."
Radim Vrbata tallied a late power-play goal and Mike Smith allowed two goals on 33 shots as the Coyotes have now dropped two of their last three.
"We haven't played with enough consistency to put us in the top eight (in the standings) and we are hovering around it," Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett said. "Hopefully around the last stretch drive we can get in and play some consistent hockey to give us a playoff chance."
Whitney got the Stars on the board early after he moved into the Phoenix zone up the left side and stickhandled past a defender to wrist a shot past Smith 2:10 into the opening stanza.
Trevor Daley fired a shot from the middle and Nichushkin batted the puck down off Smith's shoulder and into the net. The play went under review and was ruled to be a good goal with 34 seconds left in the second.
Shane Doan took an interference penalty and Mike Ribeiro went off for unsportsmanlike conduct to give the Stars a 5-on-3 for a full two minutes with 10:39 remaining in the third, but Dallas did not add to their lead.
Phoenix pulled the goalie with 1:38 to play and Vrbata fired a shot past Lehtonen on the power play to account for the final score.
Phoenix defenseman Michael Stone played in his 100th NHL game ... Dallas forward Jamie Benn extended his home point streak to eight games with two assists in the game ... Phoenix forward Antoine Vermette extended his point streak to a career-long 10 games with an assist ... Phoenix defenseman Keith Yandle's assist moved him into a tie for sixth place on the franchise's all- time defensemen assists list (Phil Housley, 195).
02/09 00:30:27 ET
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