Found February 19, 2012 on Fox Sports Arizona:
San_jose_sharks_e8c3
GLENDALE, Ariz. Radim Vrbata doesn't do insignificant goals any more. "Just the big ones," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. None was bigger than Saturday's overtime score that gave the streaking Phoenix Coyotes a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars at Jobing.com Arena. It was Phoenix's seventh win in its last eight games and 15th point over that stretch. Phoenix is now just two points behind first-place San Jose in the Pacific Division (the Sharks have three games in hand) leading to the once-unthinkable thought that they could win the division. "That's one way to get to the playoffs," said Vrbata, whose game-winner was a thing of beauty off a goal-mouth feed from Ray Whitney. Vrbata waited until the last possible second "maybe a little longer," he said then, with Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen sprawled on the ice, Vrbata roofed a shot from the goal line for his career-high 28th goal. "That's what really good goal scorers do," coach Dave Tippett said. "Great play by Whitney to anticipate the play behind the net and Vrbata, seems like every time he's got an opportunity like that this year he's made it count." Vrbata is tied with Detroit's Johan Franzen for the NHL lead with 10 game-winning goals. More incredibly, he's scored game-winners for the Coyotes in four of their last six games. "I don't know what to say about it," he said. "Lately, it seems like those are pretty important goals. It's the way I can help the team so I'm happy about it." The Coyotes needed a lift in the worst way on Saturday. Already playing without the services of forward Taylor Pyatt and defensemen Rostislav Klesla and Derek Morris, Phoenix lost center Martin Hanzal to a lower body injury in the second period and center Kyle Chipchura to what appeared to be a wrist injury in the third. Defenseman Keith Yandle gutted out a case of the stomach flu by pumping two IV bags into his system. Then he played more than 26 minutes. Compounding the injuries and illnesses was the fact that the Coyotes lacked the energy they showed Thursday in Los Angeles. "We kind of got away from our game a little bit," said goalie Mike Smith, who allowed one goal or fewer for the sixth straight game with 30 saves. "We have to be a little more disciplined. We had (three) penalties in the second period. That's uncharacteristic of this team. But saying that, we found a way to get two points." Tippett said there's a good chance Hanzal and Pyatt could be back for Tuesday's rematch with L.A., but he sounded less optimistic on Klesla, Chipchura and Morris. That means Phoenix will have to plug more holes as it tries to maintain this torrid pace that has seen it climb from 12th place in the Western Conference to within two points of sixth in the span of two weeks. "We're banged up here a little bit," Tippett said. "We're going to have to re-evaluate and the two days off will do us some good because we've got another hard game on Tuesday. "The guys we have will have to do the job."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Radim Vrbata's overtime goal lifts Coyotes over Stars

Radim Vrbata scored a goal 1:15 into overtime, waiting until firing the puck top shelf, and the Coyotes scored a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars in front of 16,604 at Jobing.com Arena.

Coyotes 2, Stars 1, OT

Radim Vrbata scored his career-high 28th goal 1:15 into overtime, Mike Smith stopped 30 shots, and the Phoenix Coyotes earned a point in their eighth straight game with a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. Mikkel Boedker scored his first goal in 21 games and Smith withstood a flurry of shots in the third period after having a long scoreless streak end. Vrbata scored...

Vrbata, Smith lead Coyotes past Stars in OT

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Radim Vrbata scored his career-high 28th goal 1:15 into overtime, Mike Smith stopped 30 shots, and the Phoenix Coyotes earned a point in their eighth straight game with a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. Mikkel Boedker scored his first goal in 21 games and Smith withstood a flurry of shots in the third period after having a long scoreless...

Coyotes' Radim Vrbata stays humble despite success

Using a superlative or pointing out that his statistics mark him as elite player merely generates a shoulder shrug from Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata.

Stars score only once in loss to Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Radim Vrbata scored his career-high 28th goal 1:15 into overtime, Mike Smith stopped 30 shots, and the Phoenix Coyotes earned a point in their eighth straight game with a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. Mikkel Boedker scored his first goal in 21 games and Smith withstood a flurry of shots in the third period after having a long scoreless...

Vrbata nets 10th game-winner for Coyotes (AP)

Radim Vrbata scored his career-high 28th goal 1:15 into overtime, Mike Smith stopped 30 shots, and the Phoenix Coyotes earned a point in their eighth straight game with a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. Mikkel Boedker scored his first goal in 21 games and Smith withstood a flurry of shots in the third period after having a long scoreless streak end.

Phoenix beats Dallas 2-1 in overtime

Radim Vrbata scored his career-high 28th goal 1:15 into overtime, Mike Smith stopped 30 shots, and the Phoenix Coyotes earned a point in their eighth straight game with a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.

Coyotes top Stars, earn point in eighth straight

Radim Vrbata scored his career-high 28th goal 1:15 into overtime, Mike Smith stopped 30 shots, and the Phoenix Coyotes earned a point in their eighth straight game with a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night

Kings fall to Coyotes for seventh shutout loss

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Mike Smith posted his fourth shutout of the season after getting into first-period altercation with Anze Kopitar, Radim Vrbata tied a career high with his 27th goal, and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 on Thursday night. Smith made 28 saves for his 15th career shutout, and Vrbata scored on a power play in the second period. The Kings, coming...

Coyotes surging after All-Star break again

The Phoenix Coyotes are making another big February push. Plagued by injuries and a brutal road schedule, the Coyotes were 12th in the Western Conference after the first half of the season. Since opening the second half with a loss to Anaheim, Phoenix has earned at least a point in eight straight games to move within two points of first place San Jose in the Pacific Division. It...

Smith gets physical, then gets shutout

Mike Smith posted his fourth shutout of the season after getting into first-period altercation with Anze Kopitar, Radim Vrbata tied a career high with his 27th goal, and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 on Thursday night. Smith made 28 saves for his 15th career shutout, and Vrbata scored on a power play in the second period. The Kings, coming off a 4-2 win over...

Phoenix beats Dallas 2-1 in overtime

Radim Vrbata scored his career-high 28th goal 1:15 into overtime, Mike Smith stopped 30 shots, and the Phoenix Coyotes earned a point in their eighth straight game with a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.

Coyotes win in OT

Radim Vrbata scored his career-high 28th goal 1:15 into overtime, Mike Smith stopped 30 shots, and the Phoenix Coyotes earned a point in their eighth straight game with a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.

Coyotes 1, Kings 0

Mike Smith posted his fourth shutout of the season after getting into first-period altercation with Anze Kopitar, Radim Vrbata tied a career high with his 27th goal, and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 on Thursday night. Smith made 28 saves for his 15th career shutout, and Vrbata scored on a power play in the second period. The Kings, coming off a 4-2 win over...

Smith, Coyotes stay hot with shutout of Kings

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Mike Smith posted his fourth shutout of the season after getting into first-period altercation with Anze Kopitar, Radim Vrbata tied a career high with his 27th goal and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 on Thursday night. Smith made 28 saves for his 15th career shutout, and Vrbata scored on a power play in the second period. The Kings, coming...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.