The Arizona Coyotes blanked the Oilers in a Pacific Division duel on Tuesday at the Gila River Arena
GLENDALE, AZ - The Oilers entered the Coyotes' Den and came out with bites and scratches.
It was just one of those nights for the Oilers where the puck luck wasn't going their way, as the Blue & Orange were shut out by the Arizona Coyotes 3-0 in a Pacific Division battle at the Gila River Arena.
"Unexpected. I don't know," Leon Draisaitl, who had four shots on goal and his second 12-game point streak of the season snapped in defeat, said post-game.
"It's a good team over there and games are always tight against them. They're obviously in a playoff race here just as much as we are."
A shortage of bounces wasn't the case for the Coyotes, who doubled their lead shorthanded 6:58 into the second period after Conor Garland opened the scoring two minutes earlier.
But the dagger on the play came when Lawson Crouse's cross-ice pass on a 2-on-1 created from a blocked shot and redirection in Arizona's end was deflected off Oscar Klefbom and through the wickets of Mikko Koskinen, who made 24 saves on 26 shots.
Head Coach Dave Tippett watched as his side fought tooth and nail for every chance against Arizona, but an emotional hangover from a three-game stretch that included two Battle of Alberta's in four days looked to catch up to them.
"You try to try and find lightning in a bottle a little bit," the bench boss said. "You try different pairs. You throw something out there that you hope sticks."
"Koskinen was playing well and we're around the game, and the second one's a flukey goal. But you're looking for that one to ignite you a little bit. There wasn't a lot of juice in our group tonight."
The Coyotes always operate with the pack mentality, and it looked like an odd-man battle to the Oilers players tasked with taming a Coyotes team that had lost five-straight games.
"It felt like they had seven guys out there. They played solid," Connor McDavid said.
The Oilers fall to 2-1-1 coming out of the All-Star Break, but Tuesday's tired defeat comes on the tail end of a stretch the Oilers captain is pleased with.
"We didn't have it tonight, so we chalk this one up as a wash," McDavid said. "Overall I've liked our last five games against some tough opponents. It's a tight division and you're going to have nights like these, but they were good and we didn't have it."
The prospects of a late comeback for the Oilers took a hit when Alex Chiasson's dangle in the neutral zone around Carl Soderberg midway through the third period led to a double-minor high-sticking penalty.
On a night when many of the Oilers direct competitors in the division lost, it's the Coyotes who gather the crucial two points to pull within a point of the Oilers in the standings.