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Under the Scope: Coyotes vs. Oilers

by Ryan Frankson / Edmonton Oilers

Nail Yakupov scored the Oilers lone goal of the game as they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday at Rexall Place for their fourth consecutive loss. The visiting victors were paced by two points apiece from Boyd Gordon and David Moss, as well as 29 saves from goalie Mike Smith.

Take a closer look at the game as we go Under The Scope:

The teams were knotted in a scoreless battle through 20 minutes, with neither side taking any definitive momentum from the first period. That all changed just 37 seconds into the middle frame as the Coyotes drew first blood on a bad-angle goal from Boyd Gordon that squeaked through Devan Dubnyk's pads.

4 Consecutive defeats for the Oilers
27 Minutes played, plus 48 more seconds to boot, for young Coyotes defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to lead all skaters
10 Goals on the season for Nail Yakupov, putting him in a tie with Cory Conacher for third among rookies
14 Faceoff wins for Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff to lead all skaters
6 Shots on goal for Boyd Gordon, the most in the game, to go along with a couple of points and 12 faceoff wins

Mike Smith
29 30 1 59:39 0.967

Nail Yakupov
1 0 1 4 +1

Boyd Gordon
1 1 2 0 +1

Mike Smith
29 30 1 59:39 0.967


Devan Dubnyk
29 32 3 57:39 0.906

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - D

27:48 - 0 PTS, +1 rating

Jeff Petry - D

22:14 - 0 PTS, E rating

With the Oilers down 2-0 in the third and desperately needing an injection of energy, Nail Yakupov finally broke the goose egg, battling past the Coyotes defence and converting on a Ryan Smyth rebound to put the Oilers on the board with 12:11 to go.

Coyotes netminder Mike Smith turned aside 29 Oilers shots to post the victory, including curbing a frantic flurry early in the third period to preserve his shutout at the time. Edmonton did get one past Smith, but did a solid job back-stopping the 'Yotes on the night.

Nail Yakupov showed flashes of brilliance against Phoenix, scoring the Oilers lone goal on a hard-working effort in front of the net, as well as showing some ferocity in a dust-up with Keith Yandle during the third period. Yakupov had a +1 rating and was second on the squad in shots on goal with four.

The Coyotes victory was just their third regulation win on the road this season, as opposed to 14 losses. They've been solid at home in Glendale, though, with a 13-7-1 record.

"There's absolutely no question that everyone in here cares, and cares a lot. Everyone wants to make it happen."

– Devan Dubnyk on the Oilers' drive, despite the recent results

Saturday, April 13 vs. Calgary 
8:00pm MT
(CBC / 630 CHED)

The Oilers and Flames will reignite the Battle of Alberta on Saturday at 8:00pm in the second half of the Hockey Night In Canada double-header, and Edmonton will conclude its three-game homestand with another Northwest Division battle against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday at 7:30pm.

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