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Ribeiro leads Stars past Coyotes in SO

Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) dives but is unable to stop Dallas Stars' Mike Ribeiro from scoring in a shootout during an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 20, 2012, in Dallas. The Stars won 4-3. Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) dives but is unable to stop Dallas Stars' Mike Ribeiro from scoring in a shootout during an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 20, 2012, in Dallas. The Stars won 4-3. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
March 20, 2012
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DALLAS—Mike Ribeiro had three assists in regulation, then scored in the second round of the shootout to lift the Dallas Stars into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division with a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night.

The teams entered the game tied atop the Pacific with 83 points.

Ribeiro faked Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith out of position and slid a backhand into an open net for the only goal of the shootout.

Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen denied Mikkel Boedker, Ray Whitney and Shane Doan in the shootout.

The Stars carried a 3-1 lead into the third period, but Oliver Ekman-Larsson's short-handed goal at 8:51 got the Coyotes within one. Ekman-Larsson beat Lehtonen from the right circle with 42 seconds left on a Dallas power play for his 12th goal of the season.

Whitney tied it at 3 at 14:58 of the third period with his 23rd of the season on a wrister from the left circle as the Coyotes converted on a power play made possible when the Stars were whistled for too many men on the ice.

Ekman-Larsson had the best scoring chance of overtime, but was denied on Lehtonen's diving pad save.

Michael Ryder scored twice for Dallas, including a second-period power-play goal.

Loui Eriksson also scored for the Stars and had the primary assist on both of Ryder's goals.

With the game even at 1, Dallas capitalized on its first power play of the night when Ryder converted Eriksson's goal-mouth setup at 5:26 of the second.

Ryder later popped a loose puck past Smith at 14:42 of the second period during a scramble in front of the net to give his team a two-goal edge, Ryder's career-high 32nd of the season.

Lehtonen made 27 saves for the Stars, who'd lost their previous two games following a 10-0-1 run that had moved them into the division lead.

Smith stopped 30 shots and Lauri Korpikoski also scored for the Coyotes, who wrapped up a 2-1-1 road trip and are 3-5-3 in their past 11 games.

Eriksson opened the scoring at 2:12 of the first period with his 26th goal of the season with a snap shot from the right circle that whistled into the upper right corner of the net.

Korpikoski tied it at 1 at 5:14 of the first period with his 16th of the season, beating Lehtonen with a one-timer from the high slot after a pass from Whitney.

Things got heated at 5:54 of the second period after Doan elbowed Stars No. 2 scorer Jamie Benn in the head.

Benn was stunned, but stayed in the game. Three skirmishes ensued, resulting in 64 penalty minutes and four misconducts, with Doan receiving a elbowing minor that put Dallas on the power play.

Notes: Ryder's previous career high was 30 goals. ... Phoenix went 3-0-3 in the season series that concluded on Tuesday. ... D Sheldon Souray was back for the Stars after missing four games with a lower body injury and forward Radek Dvorak returned after a three-game absence with an ankle problem. ... RW Radim Vrbata (illness), LW Taylor Pyatt (upper body), C Kyle Chipchura (wrist) and D Adrian Aucoin (lower body) were out for Phoenix. Vrbata, who leads the Coyotes with 30 goals, is day to day.

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