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Lehtinen's goal late in overtime leads Stars to 4-3 win over Coyotes

Jere Lehtinen scored the winning goal with 4.6 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Stars to a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.

The goal, Lehtinen's second of the game, stood up after a dispute and a video review.

During a goal mouth scramble with time expiring, Lehtinen appeared to knock the puck in the net with his stick above his right shoulder. Referee Tom Kowat, after consulting with replay officials, declared the goal good and Dallas skated off with its fifth straight victory over Phoenix, spanning two seasons.

The puck bounced twice off Phoenix goalie Mikeal Tellqvist and slid off the back of his neck into the net. The replay didn't show that Lehtinen knocked the puck in with a high stick.

"I made a pad save and (the puck) was right there," Tellqvist said. "It hit my chest and went straight up. I never felt it. It was a bad break and stuff like that will happen. Mistakes happen, and it's a game of mistakes."

Phoenix came from two goals behind early in the second period to eventually tie the game.

With Dallas leading 3-2, Mike Zigomanis got the Coyotes even when he knocked in Ladislav Nagy's shot from the right circle at 7:46 of the third period with the man advantage. The tally was his first power play goal of the season.

"It was nice to battle back," Phoenix defenceman Ed Jovanovski said. "We felt in the third period this was a very winnable game. (Tellqvist) makes the save and it goes right up over the top of his head. It was just a bad break."

Though the Coyotes had the early territorial edge, Dallas scored two power-play goals in the first period.

Lehtinen first converted a centring pass from Jussi Jokinen to beat Tellqvist at 8:48. Dallas struck again with the man advantage when Jokinen took Lehtinen's pass and redirected the puck in at 12:11.

The Coyotes, shut out in their first three games against the Stars this season, finally scored when Jovanovski's shot from the left point found its way through traffic and got behind goalie Marty Turco at 13:37.

The teams traded second-period goals.

The Stars made it 3-1 when Niklas Hagman drove Jovanovski off the puck behind the Phoenix net, circled in front, and beat Tellqvist with a backhander in close just 42 seconds into the period.

The Coyotes cut the margin to 3-2 as Owen Nolan, off a feed Jeremy Roenick, beat Turco with a wrist shot as he crashed down the slot at 6:37.

After Zigomanis tied it, the teams battled deep into overtime before Lehtinen ended the game.

"It was nice to get the win in overtime and not to go to a shootout," Lehtinen said. "We had our chances in the third period and overtime and we were lucky to get that last one."

The Coyotes were fortunate to escape with one point.

"We really got involved in a stupid situation with five, first-period penalties," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "If there was anything disappointing about this hockey game, it was that physically and mentally we were not ready to start the game. You just cannot take five penalties in the first period of any hockey game."

Notes: Stars forwards Mike Modano, Brenden Morrow and Eric Lindros sat out with injuries. ... Phoenix allowed 31 shots in the first two periods. ... The crowd of 15,320 was only the fifth for Phoenix this season above 15,000. The Coyotes have not sold out a home game this season. ... The Coyotes weren't whistled for a penalty after the first period. ... Each team scored two power-play goals.



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