The Oilers hit the road to play the Jets in Winnipeg on Wednesday. The game starts at 7:00 p.m. MST and is on Sportsnet and Sportsnet 1. It can also be heard on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network.
EDMONTON, AB – A four-goal second period by the visiting Coyotes was the Oilers undoing in a 5-2 loss to Arizona at Rexall Place.
“It’s unacceptable,” Oilers Captain Andrew Ference said. “We’re not a team that is in a position to let our guard down and just go out there and expect it to be easy or expect another team to lie down because we have a penalty or they’re down by a goal. That’s the way we went out and played. Like we’re in some position of excellence where we can just go out there and float around. It’s the same mistakes, it’s not learning from mistakes and it costs us games over and over again.”
At 5:16 of the first period, Arizona’s Zbynek Michalek took a roughing penalty against David Perron, giving the Oilers the man advantage. Edmonton didn’t waste anytime taking advantage, scoring at 5:37. Taylor Hall fired a shot on goaltender Mike Smith, the rebound popped out in front and Jordan Eberle was there to bury the second chance. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins recorded the second assist. Hall’s assist stretched his point streak against the Coyotes to seven-straight games.
The last game the Oilers scored first was in New York against the Rangers on November 9.
Oilers draft pick turned Coyotes forward (traded on March 29, 2013 for Kale Kessy) Tobias Rieder scored the equalizer on a shorthanded breakaway just 36 seconds into the second period. Rieder scored shorthanded again less than a minute later, on the same power play, assisted by Martin Hanzal, and the Coyotes had their first lead of the night.
“We just went out there after the intermission and just tried to kill this penalty off. It’s just amazing that we got two shorthanded goals,” Rieder said.
“We had a power play at the start and, at least, we’ve got to get some shots, some good plays off that and not give up anything,” Hall said. “Obviously, that’s not the case. We gave up two shorthanded goals to the same guy and it took the wind right out of our sails.”
Arizona took a 3-1 lead at 4:52 of the middle frame. Oliver Ekman-Larsson tallied that power play goal, assisted by Keith Yandle and Mikkel Boedker.
With 8:11 remaining in the second period, Nail Yakupov was robbed by Smith on a chance that could have drawn the Oilers within one.
With 16.3 seconds left in the middle frame, the Coyotes took a 4-1 lead. With goaltender Viktor Fasth down in the crease, Boedker put in the loose puck.
Things didn’t start well for the Oilers in the third period. Mark Arcobello took an interference penalty just 15 seconds into the frame, giving the Coyotes another power play. Martin Erat scored, assisted by Michael Stone and David Schlemko, at 2:03. ju Oilers defenceman Jeff Petry scored on a blast from the point at 4:21 to cut the Coyotes lead to 5-2. Petry was assisted by Oscar Klefbom and David Perron.
The energy that came shortly after that goal was too little too late for the Oilers, as they dropped their 10th straight loss.
“There should be no feeling sorry for yourself,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “You should be scraping and clawing to try to get out of it. The thing that you are going to feel, and I fully understand, is the pain of it. I’m not sure many would want to be in this situation. It’s extremely hard. Do I want them to feel pain? Does our staff feel pain? Does our manager feel pain? Everybody is feeling it. But you can’t be walking around feeling sorry for yourself. If that’s going on then we’re going to address it right away.”