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Gagner gives Coyotes season sweep of Oilers

by Derek Van Diest

EDMONTON -- A breakout game for Sam Gagner against his former team helped the Arizona Coyotes complete a season-series sweep of the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

Gagner had two goals and two assists to lead the Coyotes to a 5-1 win against the Oilers at Rexall Place.

Arizona (12-18-4) won all five games against Edmonton (7-21-7) this season.

"It felt good, it's obviously a big win for us, things haven't been going great," Gagner said. "For myself, it's a good feeling. I just want to help contribute in wins. After last night [7-1 loss at Vancouver Canucks], it's a big win for us.

"It's the not the best night I've had here [at Rexall Place], but it's definitely a good feeling. It's one of those nights things seem to go in for me. I haven't had a lot of that this year. I'll take it when I can get it."

Martin Erat, Keith Yandle and Brandon Gormley scored for Arizona, which extended its point streak against Edmonton to 18 games (15-0-3). The Oilers have not defeated the Coyotes in regulation since Jan. 25, 2011.

Defenseman Justin Schultz scored for Edmonton, which enters the holiday break on an eight-game losing streak; it has lost 19 of its past 20 (1-13-6).

"Right now, there's a piece missing here, a piece missing there and it throws the whole thing off," Oilers captain Andrew Ference said. "We're just nowhere near where we have to be compete in this league.

"We've given up way too many points against them [Arizona]. They're a team that's struggling as well. It's a team that we have to compete with and take points from. It's not right, it's not excusable to not put up a couple of wins against them."

Gagner scored on the first shot of the game at 1:44, beating goaltender Ben Scrivens from a sharp angle. Gagner would add a second goal in the third period to finish with his first four-point night for Arizona.

"He [Gagner] was opportunistic, throwing pucks at the net and he got a good deflection," Tippett said. "I thought that line [Gagner, Erat and Martin Hanzal] played pretty well. Sam, with a couple of goals and assists, it was a good night for him."

Erat gave Arizona a 2-0 lead at 5:00, tipping a Connor Murphy point shot past Scrivens, who was pulled after the goal.

Scrivens made his fifth consecutive start for Edmonton and made one save before being replaced by Viktor Fasth.

"We obviously took a step back tonight," Oilers coach Todd Nelson said. "It wasn't the game that we wanted. I thought that our execution was pretty poor. It was definitely a game that we weren't that crisp."

Coyotes goaltender Devan Dubnyk defeated his former team for the third time, making 26 saves. He allowed three goals in the three wins.

"It was obviously extra exciting the first time through, but it's still a good feeling coming in here and it's a little extra motivation before the game to get ready for it," Dubnyk said. "We really wanted this one going into the break, so it feels really good."

Dubnyk and Gagner are the latest former Oilers to contribute in wins against Edmonton.

Dallas Stars forward Shawn Horcoff scored a goal and the shootout winner and Ales Hemsky had two assists in a 6-5 win against Edmonton on Sunday.

"I was aware of [the trend] when I was on the team [Oilers]," Dubnyk said. "So I wanted to make sure that I wasn't the only one who didn't do it. It's a little extra motivation to get out there and it's fun to be able to get out there and do it three times this year."

Schultz cut the Coyotes' lead to 2-1 at 6:18, credited with the goal after his centering pass was redirected by Arizona defenseman B.J. Crombeen into his net past Dubnyk.

Yandle scored 7:54 into the second period to restore a two-goal lead. The defenseman shot from the top of the faceoff circle and beat Fasth on the short side.

"We didn't play good enough, obviously," Oilers forward David Perron said. "You can't get down two goals early on like that, and then the pushback wasn' there as much as we needed it.

"They're a hungry team over there, they lost a big game [Monday]. We knew they were going to come out and be aggressive on every puck."

Two goals in 13 seconds of the third period gave Arizona a 5-1 lead.

Gormley banked a point shot past Fasth off the skate of Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom at 4:07. On the faceoff, Arizona gained control of the puck at the Edmonton blue line, where Gormley floated a shot at the net that was tipped by Gagner past Fasth.

"It's a crazy game," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "You look at the game [Monday] night where Vancouver scored two or three goals like we did here tonight. Some nights you get bounces, other nights you don't. I didn't think [Monday] night was a 7-1 score and I didn't think tonight was a 5-1 score. We'll take it and move on."

The win ended the Coyotes' two-game losing streak. They have won two of their past nine games, each against the Oilers.

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