The Oilers homestand continues on Monday against the Carolina Hurricanes. The 7 p.m. MT game can be seen on Sportsnet West or heard on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network.
EDMONTON, AB – Jordan Eberle scored two goals and recorded his 300th NHL point as the Oilers skated by with a 4-3 shootout win over the visiting Arizona Coyotes.
“That’s a good team,” said Oilers winger Matt Hendricks, who scored in the shootout. “They’re where they are in the standings right now for good reason. They play very disciplined hockey, every guy in their lineup. We knew what we were up against tonight. To go out and actually do it, to get off that skid, feels good for everybody in this group.”
Several Oilers spoke about how big it was for the team to get a win, after dropping their previous four and seven of their last eight coming into today’s game.
“It was a good night at the end of it, for us to get the victory. We needed it,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan.
“We needed a win big time,” said Oilers netminder Cam Talbot, who made 31 saves. “It didn’t matter who it was against, we just needed to start getting two points. It helps to get it against a division opponent. We still gave up a point to them, but the extra point was huge for us tonight.”
Arizona struck first in the game’s opening period.
The Oilers managed to kill off a hooking penalty, but 23 seconds after it expired the Coyotes took a 1-0 lead. At 6:56 of the first period. Steve Downie tapped in a pass from the top of the crease for his third goal of the season, assisted by Jordan Martinook and Brad Richardson.
Edmonton got the equalizer 59 seconds later. From the corner, Leon Draisaitl passed the puck to Taylor Hall in the slot and the team-leading scorer buried his chance behind Louis Domingue at 7:55 of the opening frame.
Coming into the game, the Oilers had not scored on the power play since December 15. At 11:39 of the first, they ended the drought. Eberle roofed the go-ahead goal, assisted by Mark Letestu and Benoit Pouliot.
“I think (Brad) Hunt has helped us a little there on the backend. He looks real confident moving the puck and running it from up top,” said McLellan. “We split some of the power, if you want to call it that, up. We’ve created a competitive situation between two lines. We have a left hander and a right hander for faceoffs, that’s usually how we start it. We’ve changed the focal point of our power play, the whole thing, over the last week. Finally, we get rewarded tonight. I thought we had a couple other good looks that didn’t go in.”
Richardson tied the game for the Coyotes at 14:30 of the second. Richardson initially shot the puck then hacked away at the rebound, before beating Cam Talbot to make it 2-2. Martinook and Klas Dahlbeck got the helpers.
Anthony Duclair gave the Coyotes a 3-2 lead at 2:55 of the third, assisted by Max Domi and Dahlbeck.
Domingue robbed Pouliot with a little over six minutes remaining in the third to keep Arizona ahead. Moments later, the home team was avenged with Eberle potting the equalizer.
Eberle roofed a backhander past Domingue at 14:08 of the third. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Pouliot each recorded an assist as the Oil made it 3-3. The goal was Eberle’s 300th NHL point.
“They’re a pretty stingy team,” said Eberle. “Obviously, we got one on the power play there and early with Hallsy then found a way to get one late. We worked on some things that we struggled a little bit against Anaheim, trying to break through the neutral zone. They play similar to Anaheim in the neutral zone, where they don’t really give up much. We were trying to get pucks behind them and I think we did that well tonight and created offence out of it.”
Draisaitl saw a chance from the slot late in the third denied by Domingue. The game would remain tied and head to 3-on-3 overtime.
By getting it to overtime, the Coyotes extended their franchise-best point streak against an opponent. Arizona has managed at least a point in 20 straight games against the Oilers. The last time Edmonton handed Arizona a regulation loss was January 25, 2011.
Domingue lost his stick in OT, but denied Nugent-Hopkins the game-winner without it. The thrilling overtime went by without a goal, sending it to the shootout.
Eberle’s backhand-shelf attempt failed on the first chance of the shootout, while Mikkel Boesker scored for the Coyotes. Hendricks evened the shootout tally for Edmonton, while Domi couldn’t convert. Nugent-Hopkins went next for Edmonton and made no mistake, putting the home team up 2-1. Antoine Vermette couldn’t extend the skills competition and Edmonton skated away victorious.
The Oilers homestand continues on Monday at 7 p.m. MT against the Carolina Hurricanes.