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Oilers ready for Coyotes challenge

Matt Hendricks talks about the Oilers recent improvement and looks ahead to the home-and-home with Arizona

by Marc Ciampa /

The Oilers currently sit tied for the second-best record in the Western Conference and lead the Pacific Division with 25 points. Tomorrow, they face the team with the worst record in the west in the Arizona Coyotes. 

Matt Hendricks cautioned against anyone on the team thinking that they can let up on the gas a little against the Coyotes, however. 

"It's never an easy night in this League," he said. "Anybody can beat anybody, for sure. This team is coached well. Tippett over there has a very structured team that plays defence first. They can be hard to score against, especially here at home."

It's the first of two games in a row against the Coyotes, though Hendricks said teams generally don't look at multiple games at a time. 

"The way the schedule's going right now, it's every other day and each day is the same. You're not worried about the next game at all. We're just focused for tomorrow and after that, on to the next one."

After dropping five straight, the Oilers have won three in a row and could completely nullify that five-game slump if they're able to convert the next two against Arizona. 

"Our goal is to try to continue the momentum from this little streak we're on," Hendricks continued. "I think our starts are starting to improve a little bit. At the beginning of games, we have a little bit more energy coming into them. We're finding the back of the net early and not allowing teams to get one-two goal leads on us."

Hendricks also added that the team's been able to respond very well when they do fall behind as they did against the Avs. 

"That's been benefitting us and like last night against Colorado if they did get a lead on us we've been able to strike back. It's important. We're playing well, our goaltending's been playing great and we have to keep riding this."

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