GLENDALE, Ariz. – Ryan O'Reilly tied it late in regulation, then had the only score in the shootout to give the lowly Colorado Avalanche a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday night.
Shane Doan had a power-play goal and assist as the Coyotes rallied from a two-goal deficit to take a 3-2 lead, but O'Reilly scored on Colorado's only shot of the third period to send the game into overtime.
Philippe Dupuis and Jay McClement also scored for the Avalanche in their third victory in the last 17 games, all three in shootouts. Colorado is 6-1 in shootouts this season.
Lee Stempniak and Ray Whitney added goals for Phoenix in front 15,739 on goalie Ilya Bryzgalov's "bobblehead" night.
The Coyotes got one point to pull two ahead of idle Los Angeles and Nashville for the No. 4 playoff spot in the West, but it was a disappointing performance, especially against a weak Colorado team that Phoenix had beaten three times.
Phoenix outshot Colorado 16-1 in the third period, but that one shot was O'Reilly's goal that tied it at 3 with 4:31 remaining.
Doan's power-play goal on a one-timer from his knee at the top of the circle had capped a Coyotes rally that put Phoenix ahead 3-2 with 7:37 left in regulation.
Down 2-0, the Coyotes finally came to life on Stempniak's unassisted goal. The right wing forced his way down the ice and scored from close range, his 18th goal of the season, to cut the Avalanche lead to 2-1 with 3:31 to go in the second.
Phoenix finished the second period with a flurry of action in front of the Colorado net, all to no avail, including Whitney's blast that bounced off the crossbar.
The Coyotes kept up the assault early in the third period, tying it at 2-2 on consecutive shots by Doan, Eric Belanger and Whitney. Colorado goalie Peter Budaj, who had 35 saves, deflected the first two but, sprawling in front of the net, couldn't stop Whitney from his 16th goal of the season.
Colorado's first score came with 24 seconds left in the first period when Dupuis took a pass from McClement and poked the puck to the left of Bryzgalov and into the net.
McClement made it 2-0 with a wrist shot 7:16 into the second period.
Phoenix failed in its attempt to sweep the season series for the first time since 1990-91, when the Coyotes were the Winnipeg Jets and the Avalanche were the Quebec Nordiques.
A victory in regulation or overtime would have given Phoenix a chance to clinch a playoff spot if Dallas loses in regulation on Saturday. Now, the Coyotes, with just three games to play, will have to wait.
NOTES: Phoenix left wing Taylor Pyatt missed the game with what was described as a minor upper-body injury. ... Colorado set a franchise record with 420 man-games lost because of injury. No Avalanche player will appear in all 82 games. ... Phoenix doesn't play again until Wednesday night in Los Angeles.