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game recap

Coyotes defeat Oilers to sweep home-and-home

Arizona extends point streak against Edmonton to 25 games (21-0-4)

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Mike Smith made 41 saves for the Arizona Coyotes in a 2-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Sunday.

The win extended the Coyotes' streak to 25 games with at least a point against the Oilers (21-0-4). Arizona won the first game of the home-and-home series, 3-2 in a shootout Friday.

Jamie McGinn got the winning goal Sunday with 3:44 left in the third period and Radim Vrbata also scored for the Coyotes (8-10-2).

Milan Lucic scored for Edmonton (12-9-2) and goaltender Cam Talbot made 21 saves.

 

WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Oilers highlights

 

"I can't, I just can't [explain it]," said Smith, who improved to 15-1-1 against Edmonton in his career. "It's a team that we have had some success against, but I feel it is a little bit different of a team now than the one we have had so much success against in the past. It was definitely a challenging win for us."

Vrbata was credited with the opening goal at 16:10 of the first period to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead after his centering pass out of the corner bounced off Oilers defenseman Kris Russell and in past Talbot.

Russell had come close to giving the Oilers the lead eight minutes earlier when his shot from the point hit the goal post.

Video: ARI@EDM: Vrbata hits defenseman with shot, gets goal

Edmonton had a handful of chances to tie the game in the second, but were unable to beat Smith, who stopped 13 shots in the period.

"I thought we had plenty of chances tonight, their goaltender won the game tonight in my opinion," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "We didn't find a way to get one across the line on some of our real good opportunities. Often you have to score more than one to win to protect from that last two-minute error and we didn't get it done tonight."

Video: ARI@EDM: Smith uses blocker to make save on McDavd

McGinn scored the winning goal on a set-up from Anthony Duclair, beating Talbot from in front.

"We wanted to clog up the middle and slow down their speed and I thought we did a good job of that tonight," McGinn said. "It looked like we frustrated them a little. But we wouldn't have been where we are without [Smith]. He gave us a chance to win tonight."

After going down 2-1, the Oilers pressed for the tying goal but were unable to beat Smith.

"I thought we played a real determined checking game, all the way through," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "We back checked hard and our defense had a really good gap and weren't giving the out-numbered breaks we were giving the other night. We found enough to win."

 

Goal of the game

Lucic tied the game 1-1 at 10:39 of the third period, tipping a point shot from Connor McDavid  past Smith. The assist extended McDavid's point streak to five games with five goals and five assists in that span. "We forced them to defend all game long," McDavid said. "If that [first] goal doesn't go in, it's a little bit of a different game. Ultimately, we did a good job battling back and giving up that late goal is frustrating, but I don't think a lot of guys are too worried about it. Obviously, those are big points against divisional teams that we cost ourselves, but it's a long year and we get to see them three more times."

Video: ARI@EDM: Lucic redirects McDavid's slapper past Smith

 

Save of the game

Talbot made an excellent glove save on Martin Hanzal 3:37 into the second period after the Coyotes center batted a rebound towards the net.

Video: ARI@EDM: Talbot robs Hanzal twice on the doorstep

 

Unsung moment of the game

Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson went down on one knee to block a shot in front from Hanzal after turning the puck over in the Oilers zone with 1:09 left in the second period.

Video: ARI@EDM: Larsson makes a great block to help Talbot

 

Highlight of the game

Christian Dvorak won a puck battle in the corner in the Oilers zone and Duclair picked it up and sent a pass to McGinn in front, who shot it past Talbot for the winning goal.

Video: ARI@EDM: McGinn pops it in from the slot to take lead

 

They said it

"I don't think anybody looked at the standings and thought this was going to be a layup, they always play us tough. I don't think being up for this game was a problem, I think right from the get-go we were pretty sharp and the energy was there. They just got one more bounce than us tonight." -- Oilers forward Mark Letestu

 

"It was a little hectic at the end there. You know they are going to come as hard as they can at the end of the game and threw a bunch of guys and pucks at the net. I thought our group did a great job in front of me blocking shots." -- Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith

 

"These are the games we have to win if we're going to make the playoffs. We have to be 100 per cent in games like these. We play good against the better teams, I think, but Arizona is a team we have to beat if we're going to the playoffs. We have to find a way to crack the code." -- Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom

 

Need to know

The Coyotes point streak against the Oilers is the longest since the Philadelphia Flyers earned at least a point in 32 consecutive games against the Los Angeles Kings from 1974-83, according to the Elias Sports Bureau … Edmonton has not defeated Arizona in regulation since Jan. 25, 2011, a 4-3 win.

 

What's next

Coyotes: At the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, FS-A, NHL.TV)

Oilers: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN (JIP), SNW, TSN4, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Smith stops 41, McGinn scores late in Yotes' 2-1 win

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