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Handling Smith

by Paul Gazzola /

The Oilers will have another crack at defeating the Arizona Coyotes Sunday afternoon at Rogers Place after losing to them 3-2 in a shootout Friday night.

The Coyotes, despite sitting last in the Pacific Division, are a well-coached squad. They also have one of the best puck-handling goaltenders in the league in Mike Smith.

"He makes breakout passes all the time that trigger their breakouts," Oilers winger Patrick Maroon said. "We've got to keep it away from him because if you give it to him (with space) that breaks them out clean. We don't want that."

Smith's ability to turn the puck up ice is well known around the league. The Coyotes netminder has registered 10 assists in his National Hockey League (NHL) career, and has also scored a goal. He did that on October 19, 2013 in a 5-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings.

"We want more possession time with the puck," said Maroon. "We want to be in their offensive zone and play offence. Less defence, more offence."

The Coyotes have taken at least a point from the Oilers in their past 24 meetings, going 20-0-4.

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