GLENDALE, AZ -
After a slow start, which saw them outshot 21-4 through the majority of the opening period, the Edmonton Oilers were able to rally back and take the lead but a late third-period goal set up the Coyotes for a 4-3 overtime win at Jobing.com Arena on New Year’s Eve.
"It was a terrible first period. Thankfully Bryz was hot and Nuge's line was able to get is a goal. Second and third periods I thought we did well," began head coach Dallas Eakins, adding that he was impressed with the play of Taylor Hall, who had three assists. "Hall was a danger tonight every time he stepped on the ice."
Ilya Bryzgalov made 41 saves and was forced to make some big stops early, the best being a left pad save on Paul Bissonnette from point-blank range. Shots on goal three minutes in were 7-2 for Phoenix.
A glove save by Brzygalov on Keith Yandle before the four-minute mark preserved a scoreless game. It was the Coyotes' 10th shot of the period.
"You don't want to put him in a situation where he has to be busy like that. He gave us a chance. That's what good goaltenders do," said Oilers captain Andrew Ference.
David Perron got sent off for interference eight minutes in, giving Phoenix the game's first power play.
The Coyotes were unable to convert with the man advantage but shortly after the penalty expired, the home side kept up the pressure. Yandle stripped Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the puck and wired a shot top corner to put Phoenix on the board.
With 4:10 to go in the first, the Coyotes registered their 20th shot of the period.
Taylor Hall muscled the puck to the net where Nugent-Hopkins was stationed in front. His backhand attempt beat Mike Smith to pull the Oilers back on even terms with 1:10 to play in the first. It was only Edmonton’s fifth shot of the game.
"The first period wasn't great at all but we managed to find our game," stated Taylor Hall.
Shots on goal after one period were 21-6 for the Coyotes.
Only 25 seconds into the second period, the Oilers struck to take their first lead of the night. Hall spotted David Perron with a nice breakout pass and Perron broke into the Coyotes zone before wiring a shot past Smith for the goal.
Hall netted his third assist of the game, dishing it over to Justin Schultz who ripped a shot past Smith and put Edmonton in front by two.
After the goal, Coyotes pulled Smith from the game. He left having stopped seven of 10 shots. Thomas Greiss took his place between the pipes.
Shots on goal were 27-10 for the Coyotes just past the game's midway point.
Coyotes scored a weird one with 7:55 to play in the second. Tim Kennedy's shot from past the goal line bounced in off Bryzgalov's skate and in to make it a one-goal game.
Shots on goal after two periods were 33-15 for the Coyotes.
A penalty on Perron for slashing with just over seven minutes to play in the third period sent Phoenix on their second power play of the night with a great chance to tie things up but the Oilers were able to kill off the penalty.
Just as Greiss was pulled for the extra attacker with 1:19, Yandle teed up a shot from the point and Bryzgalov made a great glove save to preserve the one-goal lead for the visitors. But nine seconds later, Phoenix tied the game as Mikkel Boedker took the puck in the slot and fired it into the open net.
Shots at the end of regulation were 42-21 for Phoenix.
29 second into overtime, Eberle split the defence to set up a great scoring chance but was hauled down by Derek Morris. That set up the Oilers first power play of the game at a most opportune time. They had a few chances but were unable to convert.
"That four on three (power play) in overtime we have to get something there. I had the puck and it didn't go where I wanted it to go," Hall remarked.
With 6.5 seconds to play, Yandle was sprung for a breakaway after a turnover in the Coyotes zone. Yandle muscled his way to the net and fired it five-hole on Bryzgalov for the winner.
"It's always the last bitter taste in your mouth that you remember," Eakins stated. "Their winning goal came when we had a player on a minute-and-a-half shift. You can't do that."