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Bryzgalov's Career High 44 Saves Lead Coyotes To Shootout Win Over Stars

The Coyotes are making it perfectly clear that if they hope to have postseason success, it's going to be through the play of their defense.

They flashed more of that impressive blue line play in their 2-1 shootout win over the offensively potent Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.

Only two goals were scored in regulation in this one, with the Coyotes' goal coming from a much more unlikely source than the one that Dallas tallied.

Just over midway through the second period, David Schlemko fired one from the blue line, which sailed past Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

Five minutes later, the Stars answered with one of their own. With the shaky Coyote penalty kill on the ice, Dallas used some crisp passing to get the puck to Jamie Benn, who flicked it to the left of Ilya Bryzgalov for the equalizer.

It wasn't as if each team didn't have their chances on offense.

Both goaltenders were strong throughout, but it was Brzygalov who kept the Yotes in this one, making 44 stops as the Coyotes went to overtime with their Pacific Division rivals, and eventually a shootout. Bryz's 44 saves were a high for the season and his career.

Even the shootout took extra time, with the final frame going five rounds in this one. Benn scored in the first round for Dallas, with Radim Vrbata scoring in the second round to even it up. Neither side would score until the fifth round, when Ray Whitney dealt the final blow to Lehtonen and the Stars.

The win for the Yotes puts another damper on the playoff hopes of the Dallas Stars, who now trail eighth place by three points.

With the win, the Coyotes also creep closer to San Jose, who are up on the Yotes by just two points for third place. The Los Angeles Kings are also in the running, trailing Phoenix by just a point.

The Coyotes will play just once in the next week, which will give them plenty of time to get healthy down the stretch.