NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Dallas
(Sunday, March 21st)
Final Score: Phoenix 3, Dallas 2 (SO)
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Adrian Aucoin scored the decisive goal in the fourth round of the shootout, as the surprising Phoenix Coyotes edged the Dallas Stars, 3-2, to match a franchise record with their ninth straight win.
After Radim Vrbata beat Dallas goaltender Marty Turco with a backhander to extend the shootout, Jason LaBarbera made a glove save on Stars forward Steve Ott. Aucoin then fired a wrister past the glove of Turco.
Vrbata and Petr Prucha each had a power-play goal in regulation for the Coyotes, who tied the longest win streak set by the Winnipeg Jets from March 8-27, 1985. Five of the wins during this current stretch have been earned in shootouts.
"We've just been very persistent," Aucoin said. "We've been down by goals in a few of the games (during the win streak). We just keep coming. Obviously, goaltending has been our rock all year."
Phoenix also vaulted over San Jose for first place in the Pacific Division and joined Chicago atop the Western Conference standings with a club-record 97 points. The Coyotes/Jets franchise has never claimed a division crown since entering the NHL in 1979.
LaBarbera stopped 30 shots for Phoenix, which is primed to end its eight-year playoff drought.
Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson provided the offense for Dallas, which went 2-2-2 on its six-game homestand. Turco made 33 saves.
"It's too bad we lost the game. We need all the points we can get and we lost one today," Eriksson said.
The Stars moved seven points behind Detroit for the final playoff spot in the West, and haven't missed the postseason in consecutive years since 1987 and 1988, when the franchise was based in Minnesota and finished last in the Norris Division both times.
Prucha redirected a Vrbata pass with less than a second remaining in the first period for a 1-0 Coyotes lead. Vrbata then beat Turco on the short side with a snap shot at the 2:23 mark of the middle stanza.
Dallas got on the board 1:22 later. LaBarbera stopped Benn's initial bid on the breakaway, but the rookie left winger swatted his rebound out of the air.
Eriksson redirected a Brad Richards shot to tie the game at 7:11 of the third.
Aucoin is a perfect 5-for-5 in shootouts for his career...Phoenix has won five straight on the road...Dallas forward Brian Sutherby appeared in his 400th NHL game...Coyotes forward Lee Stempniak had a nine-game point streak halted....Phoenix is now 12-4 in shootouts this year.
03/22 00:01:23 ET