Coyotes goalie Mike Smith had a shutout until Chris Gomez scored with 4:08 to play. Smith had 22 saves.
Phoenix has won five of six and seven of nine.
Vrbata's goal came on a power play.
The victory, coupled with Dallas' loss to Philadelphia, put the Coyotes four points ahead of the Stars for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
Robert Luongo had 20 saves for the Panthers.
BLUE JACKETS 3, CANADIENS 2
MONTREAL (AP) — Ryan Johansen scored late in the third period to give Columbus a victory that snapped Montreal's three-game winning streak.
Derek MacKenzie and Brandon Dubinsky also scored for Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, made 25 saves while starting the Blue Jackets' 16th straight game and 23rd in the last 24.
Brendan Gallagher and Thomas Vanek scored for the Canadiens, and Carey Price stopped 37 shots.
Johansen took advantage of rookie defenseman Jarred Tinordi's giveaway at the Canadiens' blue line. Johansen intercepted a weak pass and beat Price on a partial breakaway for his team-leading 27th goal of the year at 16:59 of the third period.
DEVILS 4, WILD 3, OT
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Andy Greene scored from in close 2 minutes into overtime and New Jersey snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Minnesota in Zach Parise's first game against his former teammates.
Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias each had three assists and combined to set up the game-winner for New Jersey, which blew a two-goal third-period lead.
Michael Ryder, Mark Fayne and Jaromir Jagr also scored for New Jersey, which played with a lot more energy with their playoff hopes fading in the wake of the losing streak.
Parise, Mikael Granlund and Matt Cooke tallied for the Wild, who have points in 17 of 21 games.
LIGHTNING 5, SENATORS 4
OTTAWA (AP) — Teddy Purcell scored twice and Ryan Callahan had a power-play goal midway through the third period to lead Tampa Bay over Ottawa.
Valteri Filpulla and Eric Brewer also scored for the Lightning, who have won five in a row. Ben Bishop stopped 27 shots.
Clarke MacArthur, Erik Karlsson, Ales Hemsky and Milan Michalek scored for the Senators. Robin Lehner had 23 saves while losing his sixth straight game. Ottawa is 0-3-2 in its last five.