Stars get a point, but lose in Phoenix shootout

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by BOB BAUM

Associated Press

Posted on March 30, 2011 at 12:08 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 30 at 12:23 AM

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Ilya Bryzgalov had a career-high 44 saves, then made the game-saving pad block in a shootout to preserve the Phoenix Coyotes' 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.

The victory kept Phoenix one point ahead of Los Angeles for fourth in the Western Conference, although the Kings have six games to go to the Coyotes' four.

The Stars got one point to move into a tie with Calgary for ninth in the West, three points behind eighth-place Chicago.

Both teams scored in the second period.

David Schlemko's one-timer just after a power play put Phoenix up 1-0 with 7:51 left. Jamie Benn's 22nd goal of the season, on a power play, tied it with 2:26 remaining.

Lee Stempniak knocked the puck into the net with 17 seconds left in the period but the goal was waved off when the Coyotes' Taylor Pyatt was called for incidental contact with goalie Kari Lehtonen.

The Stars outshot Phoenix 45-27.

The Coyotes, ending their second consecutive season under the NHL's ownership and with their future in Arizona uncertain, have won eight of 10. The hard-luck Stars have lost six of seven, one in overtime and two in shootouts.

Bryzgalov, who had tied his career best with 43 saves in a game against Detroit last Oct. 28, had 42 in regulation on Tuesday. He denied four of five attempts in the shootout. Ray Whitney's shootout attempt trickled under the pads of Kari Lehtonen, the Dallas goalie falling on his backside as the puck entered the net.

Phoenix clinched the victory when Bryzgalov blocked Loui Eriksson's shot.

There were just three penalties in the game, none after the second period.

The Coyotes had two near misses earlier in the second period. First, Rostislav Slesla's slap shot from straightaway at the blue line bounced off the left post. Officials looked at a replay but it was clear the puck never crossed the line for a goal.

Moments later, Lee Stempniak failed on a breakaway. He got the rebound, but his shot was blocked.

Finally, Phoenix broke through just after the Coyotes had failed in an inept power play. Michel Rozsival passed to Schlemko, whose left-handed, one-timer zipped just inside the post to make it 1-0 with 7:51 left in the second period.

Dallas tied it in a hurry on a power play after Vernon Fiddler was called for hooking. A little more than halfway through the power play, Benn's shot from the right side slid under Bryzgalov's legs for the score with 2:26 to play in the second period.

Notes: Coyotes LW Lauri Korpikoski missed his second game with an upper body injury. ... Dallas was on the second stop of a five-game road trip, the last four in the West. ... Fiddler was back after sitting out one game with an upper body injury. ... Phoenix has played 78 games, most in the NHL.

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