EDMONTON - Sheldon Souray and Andrew Cogliano scored third period power-play goals as the Edmonton Oilers headed into the Christmas break on a high note, moving back over the .500 mark with a 4-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night.
Zack Stortini and Marc Pouliot also scored for the Oilers (15-14-3) who snapped a three-game winless streak and returned to even at home with a 5-5-3 record at Rexall Place.
Martin Hanzal and Enver Lisin replied for Phoenix (16-14-4) which had a three-game winning streak stopped and a stretch of six games where the Coyotes had gone 4-0-2.
Edmonton started off the scoring five minutes in thanks to a strong shift from their bruiser Stortini. After absolutely levelling Todd Fedoruk on an open-ice hit, Stortini was then able to contribute offensively with his first goal of the season, depositing the puck in after a prolonged scramble in front of the Phoenix net.
The Oilers took a two-goal lead less than two minutes later as Pouliot took a feed from Cogliano on a give-and-go and wired a shot past the outstretched glove of Coyotes starter Mikael Tellqvist.
Phoenix made it a one-goal game twelve minutes into the second period. With a delayed penalty coming their way, Hanzal slide a puck past Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson as his stick was being chopped in half by defender Sheldon Souray.
Sustained Phoenix pressure paid off with 2:23 remaining as Ed Jovanovski undressed Steve Staios on the power play and fed the puck to Lisin who blasted the puck from the slot past Roloson to make it 2-2 heading into the third. The Coyotes outshot Edmonton 17-5 in the second period.
The Oilers caught a break early in the third when Coyotes Viktor Tikhonov took a double minor for a high stick into the face of Erik Cole, giving Edmonton a two-man advantage which they converted when Souray unleashed a bullet from the point that blew past Tellqvist.
With just 2:14 to play, Edmonton put the game away with another two-man advantage as Ales Hemsky got his second assist of the game by making a perfect pass to Cogliano on the doorstep for the easy tap in.
Phoenix plays in Colorado on Tuesday while Edmonton is off until Boxing Day when they travel to Vancouver.
Notes: Oilers forward Robert Nilsson is the latest player to land in head coach Craig MacTavish's doghouse. Nilsson was a healthy scratch for the game after questions about his competitiveness. Liam Reddox came in to take his place in the lineup. . . . Phoenix was without the services of forward Peter Mueller, out because of a sore leg. . . . Edmonton won all four meetings between the two teams last season, including two in Edmonton in which they gave up a combined 13 goals. . . . It was only the Oilers fifth win at home in 13 tries this season. Only Tampa Bay has fewer home victories.