The Coyotes were 14-6 last season in games that went past regulation, but were just 2-9 this season until Radim Vrbata scored a power-play goal at 1:13 of OT to lift Phoenix to a 3-2 victory at Dallas, extending the Stars' losing streak to a season-high four games.
Dallas' Jamie Langenbrunner was penalized for tripping with 19 seconds left in regulation, and Vrbata capitalized on the 4-on-3 advantage in the extra period with a wrist shot from the lower right circle.
"When the puck got to me, I saw one of their defensemen sliding in front of me so I toe-dragged it a little, got free and put it on net," Vrbata said. "Luckily it went in."
Coyotes coach Dave Tippett saw his team win for the first time in seven games decided during the five-minute OT period -- the 'Yotes are also 2-3 in shootouts.
"Hopefully we can use this momentum going that way," he said. "We've had a couple of instances when we were the team killing the penalty in overtime, and it's burned us. It's nice to see us get one the other way around."
The Coyotes twice overcame one-goal deficits -- newcomer Michal Rozsival had a power-play goal late in the first period and Mikkel Boedker scored the tying goal in the third period. Ilya Bryzgalov made 16 saves as the Coyotes won their third in a row and their 500th game since moving from Winnipeg to Phoenix in 1996.
The Stars have had sole possession of the Pacific Division lead since November, but now they have company. San Jose, a 3-2 winner at Columbus, matched the Stars with 66 points, though the Stars have a game in hand. Both are one point ahead of the Coyotes, two in front of Anaheim and only six ahead of last-place Los Angeles in the NHL's tightest divisional race.
"Every game's going to be important now and when you have games within your division, you look at our division and how tight it is, games within the division have an extra set of circumstances to them," Tippett said. "Unfortunately, we gave them a point tonight, but we got our two, so we'll move on."
Stars coach Marc Crawford was especially displeased after his penalty-killers allowed two goals.
"They scored a couple of power-play goals, so we've got to try to limit the number of penalties we take," Crawford said. "We only had one opportunity on the power play and when you lose that battle, that's one you don't like to lose. That's one we pride ourselves on, that we don't give other teams more opportunities on most nights to get on the power play."
Bryzgalov was coming off two consecutive shutouts for the first time in his career, but the Stars broke that streak when Ott went top shelf from the lower left circle at 10:48 of the first period. Phoenix tied it when Rozsival tapped in a rebound at 18:22.
Richards' rebound gave Dallas a 2-1 edge at 5:56 of the second period. Teammate Nicklas Grossman took the original shot seconds after exiting the penalty box, and Grossman was pushed into Bryzgalov by a Phoenix defenseman as Richards took his shot. Referee Tom Kowal emphatically signaled goal, and an inconclusive video replay meant that the goal stood.
Tippett said the goal seemed to energize his team.
"I still haven't seen it in the net," he said, "but that seemed to motivate our group. We started playing faster after that and pulled out the win."
Richards also assisted on Ott's goal, giving him 700 career points.
Boedker tied it at 2 at 5:37 of the third period with his first goal of the season when he converted Ray Whitney's cross-ice pass.
Crawford preferred to focus on the positives, rather than the point that got away.
"We did get a point that we desperately needed," he said. "I liked our work ethic. If we work like that every night, we're going to be pretty good."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
|Steve Ott (10) ASST: Brad Richards (39), Loui Eriksson (35)|
1 - 0 DAL
|PPG - Michal Rozsival (4) ASST: Taylor Pyatt (10), Lee Stempniak (16)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Brad Richards (22) ASST: Nicklas Grossmann (8), Brenden Morrow (14)|
2 - 1 DAL
|Mikkel Boedker (1) ASST: Ray Whitney (30)|
2 - 2 Tie
|PPG - Radim Vrbata (14) ASST: Keith Yandle (37), Ray Whitney (31)|
3 - 2 PHX
|Scottie Upshall Hi-sticking against Mike Ribeiro|
|Mike Ribeiro Hi-sticking against Scottie Upshall|
|Tom Wandell Tripping against Keith Yandle|
|Nicklas Grossmann Slashing against Sami Lepisto|
|Derek Morris Holding against James Neal|
|Sami Lepisto Roughing against Brenden Morrow|
|Brenden Morrow Roughing against Sami Lepisto|
|Jamie Langenbrunner Tripping against Lauri Korpikoski|
|Lauri Korpikoski Diving against Jamie Langenbrunner|
|Jamie Langenbrunner Tripping against Radim Vrbata|