The Phoenix Coyotes continued to show flashes of the 107 point team in a resilient effort tonight against the Dallas Stars. Trailing twice in the game, the Coyotes continued to press and were able to win their first game in overtime of the season on a Radim Vrbata power play goal.
The controversy tonight revolved around Dallas' second goal of the game. After killing a penalty, Nicklas Grossman came out of the box and took a breakout pass to the net. His shot was stopped by Ilya Bryzgalov and his momentum pushed him on top of Bryz. The rebound shot from Brad Richards hit Bryzgalov in the chest and was frozen in the crease. Referee Tom Kowal emphatically signaled a goal on the ice despite the clear interference and the fact that every replay seemed to show the puck stopped on the line. Even Brad Richards was unsure as to whether the puck ever crossed the line. However, with the call on the ice being a goal, Toronto didn't have the conclusive evidence to show it was not a goal and it was allowed to stand.
Thankfully, the Coyotes saw it as a rallying point and came out strong in the third period. Mikkel Boedker, getting a rare start, brought an end to end rush into the Stars zone before making a nice drop pass to Ray Whitney and driving the net. Whitney caught Boedker standing alone at the back door and Boedker buried it for his first of the year.
The first period saw the teams exchange goals as Dallas opened the scoring with a Steve Ott tally from in close on a play started with a Keith Yandle turnover and ended with Derek Morris getting turned around and letting Brad Richards feed the puck to Ott from behind the net. Bryz stopped the first opportunity, but Ott buried his second chance high over the glove. The Coyotes responded on the power play as they capitalized on a failed clear by Jaime Langenbrunner (who had a night to forget) and Lee Stempniak forced a shot off of Taylor Pyatt and onto the stick of Michal Roszival who buried it past Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen for his first goal with the Desert Dogs.
Langenbrunner took two minors in the game including a tripping minor with only 20 seconds to go as he hauled down Ray Whitney after turning over the puck at the blue line. On the ensuing power play during the overtime period, Radim Vrbata got the puck in the circle, toe dragged it past a diving defender between the hash marks and buried it on a great wrist shot.
It was the Coyotes third win in a row and put them in a tie with Dallas (one point behind San Jose who won earlier in Columbus). The Stars do have two games in hand on the Coyotes.
Bullet Point Notes From The Game:
- Vernon Fiddler returned from his shoulder injury suffered before the All Star break in a fight against the Ducks; Mikkel Boedker was dressed for the first time in a while at the expense of Kyle Turris and Andrew Ebbett.
- The Brad Richards line with Loui Erikkson had a few odd-man rushes early in the game (against the Hanzal line no less), but the defense was able to force shots wide (including an impressive back-check by Yandle) or Bryz made the saves as needed.
- Paul Bissonnette made a nifty little spin-o-rama move behind the net to make a centering pass, but it did not connect woth Boedker or Fiddler unfortunately.
- Great pass from Vrbata to a streaking Yandle gives the coyotes a nice scoring opportunity, but Lehtonen makes the save.
- The Stars broke Bryz's shutout streak at just over 130 minutes with a Steve Ott goal off a nice feed from Richards. Derek Morris was turned around on the play and the pass went right through him from behind the net to Ott on the door step for the finish. The play started with a turnover by Keith Yandle that was unforgivable - he plunked one off a Stars skate and failed to clear the zone; Coyotes chased the rest of the play.
- Coyotes get the first power play as Yandle is tripped - Oliver Ekman-Larsson starts with the first PP unit as Yandle gets a brief breather.
- A HUGE gaffe by Jaime Langenbrunner whiffing on a clearing attempt allowed Derek Morris to hold the zone as the power play wound down and Michal Roszival converted a rebound off of a Lee Stempniak shot to even the game with 90 seconds or so to go in the first.
- The Stars put a lot of pressure on at the end of the period, but the Coyotes held on and head to the break tied at 1.
- Coyotes get a second power play opportunity and the Coyotes get some decent pressure on the delayed call with a solid point shot from Derek Morris being the highlight. The first part of the power play is typical Coyotes with no puck control whatsoever.
- As the penalty expires, the Stars break out and Nicklas Grossman drives through Bryzgalov and Richards shoots it at net, but Bryz laying on the crease appears to keep it out of the net. The ref on the goal line was emphatic that it was a goal, but on the review it doesn't look like the puck ever went in the net. One weird angle makes it look like it might've gone in and Toronto can't overturn it. Coyotes need to chase again.
- Derek Morris gets called for holding by Kowal and is not best pleased with the call. Kowal is the same ref who called the goal for you conspiracy theorists. Coyotes do a great job killing the penalty.
- Sami Lepisto and Brenden Morrow take coincidental minors and the Coyotes are putting pretty good pressure on the Stars. Lauri Korpikoski makes a nice feed across the goal mouth behind his back, but nobody is there to put the puck in the open net.
- OEL had a nice opportunity towards the end of the 4-on-4 as he took a shot and put the rebound right back on Lehtonen who stood tall to make both saves.
- Second period ends and the only "goal" is the Richards tally. Coyotes will need to come out with a big effort in the third to continue their winning streak.
- Going into the third, the Coyotes need to battle through the Stars' league leading record after scoring the first goal of the game and also leading after 2 periods.
- James Neal let a wide open net pass as he tried to force it back across and the Coyotes were able to break up the play.
- Mikkel Boedker making the most of his time takes an end to end rush through the neutral zone and off a nice give and go to ray Whitney he pots a highlight-reel goal for his first of the season.
- The Korpi-Doan-Upshall line gets some great opportunities, but the Stars survive the push.
- Ray Whitney is all over the ice here in the third - weaves through the offensive zone and gets a little shot on net that gives Lehtonen all sorts of trouble.
- Korpi gets called for embellishing a clear trip/interference from Langenbrunner. Not sure where the "dive" was as he tried to avoid the contact and was sent flying after their skates connected. Perhaps Kowal made this call as well...
- Whitney draws a tripping penalty on Langenbrunner with only 20 seconds left - Coyotes get good pressure, but we're heading to OT. Langenbrunner really not impressing, Stars can't be happy with the way he's playing in a pretty important game.
- In the overtime period, Coyotes maintain pressure winning key offensive zone pressure and Radim Vrbata made a nice toe drag move and unleashes a heavy wrist shot for the game winner in overtime.
OUR THREE STARS
1. Radim Vrbata - had the game winner in overtime and was making plays all over the ice continuing his hot play from the last game against Colorado.
2. Ray Whitney - two assists on the day and drew the penalty on Langenbrunner that led to the game winner.
3. Michal Roszival/Mikkel Boedker - Bods scores his first of the year on a great end-to-end rush, Roszival plays a very solid game and scores his first with the Coyotes to even up the game in the first period.
COMMENT OF THE NIGHT
"I still haven't seen it in the net."
-Coach Tippett talking to Todd Walsh after the game about the controversial goal. Tip was also upset about the lack of goaltender interference call on the play.
Coyotes return to Glendale to face the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. It's the first visit from the new-look Blackhawks who are struggling to find their way back to the postseason following last year's championship run and the cap-related roster purging. Coyotes just need to keep winning games to secure their playoff spot.