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Coyotes Can't Close, Fall To Stars In Waning Seconds

If the Phoenix Coyotes were hoping to grab a high seed in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, they certainly aren't making it easy on themselves.

Losers of three in a row, the Coyotes dropped another one to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, 3-2 at Arena. The loss leaves them just four points out of falling out of contention in the Western Conference.

Despite the loss, the Coyotes spent another night flashing their defensive ability, with just one Stars goal standing as the lone score after two periods. That goal came courtesy of Tom Wandell, at the end of the opening frame.

The third period saw things get a bit more interesting.

Veteran Jamie Langenbrunner scored for the Stars in the late-going in the third period, giving Dallas a 2-0 edge with about eight to go.

The Coyotes weren't done, though. Phoenix's newest d-man, Rostislav Klesla, scored his first goal as a Coyote to narrow the gap to 2-1. With less than 40 seconds remaining, Ray Whitney finally capitalized on a chance and evened the score with his 12th of the season.

With all the momentum, there's no way the Coyotes could possibly lose this one right? With Radim Vrbata sitting in the penalty box for hooking, the Yotes did just that. Jamie Benn potted a power play goal with five seconds remaining to hand Phoenix their fourth consecutive loss.

The loss doesn't change the Coyotes' place in the standings, but puts them just one point ahead of fifth place Calgary in the West. They also lead the remaining three teams in contention by just two.

The bad news that comes with that is the fact that the Coyotes are tied with the Flames for most games played in the West, meaning that even not playing until Thursday could leave them in fifth behind Calgary, or tied at 76 points, with both the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild.

It doesn't get any easier for the Coyotes on Thursday, when they head West to meet the division rival Los Angeles Kings to try and stop their skid.