Vrbata scores in SO; Coyotes top Bolts 4-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 10, 2014 at 10:31 pm •  Published: March 10, 2014
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Phoenix Coyotes went extra time to get a much needed victory.

Radim Vrbata scored the lone shootout goal to lead the Coyotes past the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Monday night.

Vrbata beat Ben Bishop with a backhand. Mike Smith stopped all three Lightning shootout shots.

Brandon McMillan, Martin Erat and Mikkel Boedker scored for the Coyotes, who trailed eighth-place Dallas by one point in the Western Conference. Phoenix was coming off a 3-2 loss Saturday at Washington, a game which the Capitals had three unanswered third-period goals.

"We're right in the hunt," Smith said. "We're in the thick of things, too, and every point matters right now. So I think you see a desperation from guys on the ice, lying down, blocking shots."

Ondrej Palat got the Lightning even at 3-all with his second goal of the game, coming from the low slot with the Tampa Bay net empty and 37.2 seconds left in regulation. Palat also had an assist.

"I thought we did a lot of things well tonight," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "Even though they got a late one on us, we found a way to get points, and that's the biggest thing about our season right now. We need points every night."

Tampa Bay, 1-4-2 since the Olympic break ended, also got a goal from Tyler Johnson.

After Erat scored following an errant defensive zone pass by Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman 2:13 into the third, Boedker put the Coyotes ahead 3-2 with a rebound goal at 7:48. Bishop ended up out of position when Hedman's pass on Erat's goal took a bad bounce.

"We were just way too lackadaisical," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said of Erat's goal. "The third one, we've run that coverage a thousand times. It's a blown assignment. Those don't go in in midget hockey, let alone the NHL. Or they shouldn't, anyway."

Palat gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead from in-close off a pass from Ryan Callahan with 52.3 seconds left in the second.

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