Skip to main content
game recap

Jujhar Khaira helps Oilers defeat Coyotes

Edmonton wins third straight, moves into second in Pacific

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Jujhar Khaira scored his first NHL goal and Cam Talbot made 20 saves for the Edmonton Oilers in a 3-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes at Rogers Place on Monday.

Khaira's goal at 11:40 of the second period was the game-winner for Edmonton (24-15-7), which extended its winning streak to three games and moved into second place in the Pacific Division.

"It's a relief for sure; you always think about it and now I just want to build off it," Khaira said. "Growing up as a kid playing street hockey, you always picture it [scoring in the NHL] in your head and it's a reality now and it feels good."

 

WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Oilers highlights

 

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl also scored for Edmonton. It was the first time since Nov. 23, 2009 the Oilers defeated the Coyotes in regulation at home.

Radim Vrbata scored for Arizona (13-24-6) and goaltender Mike Smith made 24 saves.

"Sometimes those are the toughest ones to win, when you're expected to win, especially against that team, they've obviously had our number," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "We were patient enough, lost momentum, gained it back, did some good things with all four lines throughout the night. All six [defensemen] had an opportunity to contribute. I didn't think we gave them a lot. When we did, Cam made some good saves."

Nugent-Hopkins gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead at 3:34 of the first period, capitalizing on a bad line change by the Coyotes. Nugent-Hopkins took a pass from Jordan Eberle, went in alone and sent a shot past Smith.

Video: ARI@EDM: Nugent-Hopkins joins rush, wrists puck home

In the second period, Smith made several excellent saves to keep the Coyotes down by one goal.

Smith made a pad save on Mark Letestu's one-time shot, stopped Eberle on a breakaway and knocked the puck over the net with a desperation blocker save on a deflected shot from Connor McDavid. Smith made 14 saves in the second period.

"I don't know what happened there in the second," Smith said. "We got kind of out of sync, I guess, a little bit. It seems like they kept coming at us and I was trying just to hold the fort there for as long as I could. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite hold them off long enough."

Vrbata scored on the power play at 17:56 of the second period to make it 3-1. Vrbata was left alone in front, took a pass from Alexander Burmistrov and beat Talbot. It was Burmistrov's first point with the Coyotes in his first game after being claimed off waivers from the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 1.

Video: ARI@EDM: Vrbata puts Yotes on the board with PPG

"That's as poor as we've played in the month," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "We've been competitive, real competitive for a month. And [Monday] you could see it right from the get-go. I was worried this morning, actually, at the [morning] skate. You could tell there wasn't a lot of zip in our group."

 
Goal of the game

Draisaitl took a pass from McDavid, skated around Lawson Crouse and beat Smith to give Edmonton a 3-0 lead at 13:37 of the second period.

Video: ARI@EDM: Draisaitl uses quick hands to pad the lead

 
Save of the game

Smith made an outstanding glove save on Eberle on a breakaway at 8:23 of the second period.

Video: ARI@EDM: Smith flashes leather to rob Eberle's break

 
Unsung performance of the game

After missing one game because of a lower-body injury, Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson played a team-high 22:48, had an assist and blocked four shots.

 

Highlight of the game

Khaira took a pass from Letestu in front and beat Smith for his first NHL goal.

Video: ARI@EDM: Khaira deflects puck in for first NHL goal

 
They said it

"It can't happen. It can't happen in this league. It's a privilege to play in this league and put the Coyotes sweater on. I don't know, I can't explain. I can talk for myself, and know that every game I go into I want to give myself the best chance to play at my best. And I can't speak for anyone else, but we've got too many guys who aren't doing enough to push this thing along." -- Coyotes goalie Mike Smith

 

"We could have scored a few more goals, but so could have they. They are not an easy team to play against. They are very structured and stick to the details. Those games are not that fun to play in sometimes, but we are happy to get the two points." -- Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl

 
Need to know

Vrbata's goal ended the Coyotes' scoreless streak at 143:11. … McDavid is one point away from 100 for his NHL career (30-69-99). … Eberle has not scored a goal in 18 games, the longest scoring slump of his NHL career.

 
What's next

Coyotes: At the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-A, NHL.TV)

Oilers: Host the Florida Panthers on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; SN1, FS-F, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Khaira scores first NHL goal in 3-1 win against Yotes

View More