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RECAP: Coyotes 5, Oilers 4

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers


GLENDALE, AZ - Phoenix tallied two power play goals against Edmonton including  Oliver Ekman-Larsson's game-winning goal with 7:37 remaining as the Coyotes downed the Oilers, 5-4 this afternoon.

The Oilers opened up scoring in this game as Tyler Pitlick scored his first career NHL goal at 9:59. Pitlick bursted down the right wing and put a move to swim past Keith Yandle. The Oilers rookie fanned on a shot put scooped the puck and fired a far-side score under the pad of Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith.

The second period appeared to belong to Phoenix, who scored three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead over Edmonton within the first six minutes of the frame.

"It was an interesting game, to say the least," said Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins. "It's getting disheartening to keep coming back and saying I liked most of our game and we ended up short."

At 19:13 of the second, Oliver Ekman-Larsson passed the puck into the slot where it deflected off of the skate of Martin Hanzal and in past Jason LaBarbera.

Phoenix gained their first lead of the night at 14:40 when Michael Stone fired from inside the point and through traffic to put the puck past the glove-side of LaBarbera.

The Oilers goaltender was beat again just 27 seconds later when David Schlemko launched a one-timer from the point, short-side. Devan Dubnyk came in to replace LaBarbera, but the two swapped again before play and the lineup remained unchanged.

The Oilers physical fourth line provided a spark at 11:57 of the period, this time in the form of a much-needed goal. Ben Eager took a pass from Luke Gazdic and shot the puck on Smith. The shallow rebound was perfect for Will Acton as he crashed the net and put in the loose puck five-hole to make it a 3-2 game.

"We created lots, good speed, worked hard," said Oilers Captain Andrew Ference. "Despite the ice being pretty choppy, we actually made a lot of good plays and supported each other well, so it's just one of those things. We've said it a lot lately how we're just ending up on the wrong side of the line in these close games."

Pitlick left the game after a big hip-check by Schlemko sent the Oilers forward flying and he did not return.

With just 57 seconds remaining in the period, David Perron tied the game after some precision passing by the Oilers.

Perron carried the puck into the zone and left it for Jordan Eberle at the boards. Eberle found defenceman Justin Schultz with a centring pass, who then found Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at the far-side post. Nugent-Hopkins freed the puck to Perron at the top of the crease and the Oilers forward buried it to tie the game, 3-3.

With 12:37 remaining in the third period, Nugent-Hopkins fired a heavy shot on Smith and Oilers forward Ryan Jones deflected it in for the go-ahead goal, going the team the 4-3 lead.

Again the Coyotes would tie things up, this time on the power play. Keith Yandle launched a point shot through traffic to score on LaBarbera and tie the game, 4-4.

"Late power-play goals on penalties you shake your head at," said Ference. Having those point shots go in was extremely frustrating."

Phoenix would carry the momentum as Yandle would cross-ice pass it to Ekman-Larsson who bombed another point shot past the Oilers goaltender with 7:37 remaining in the game.

Ekman-Larsson's tally proved to be the game-winner as the Coyotes escaped the Oilers, 5-4.

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