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Under the Scope: Oilers vs. Coyotes

by Travis Knee / Edmonton Oilers

A bit of a lucky goal put the Coyotes out in front early and the Oilers could never quite recover in this one. Ray Whitney would give Phoenix a 2-0 lead after the first period and they were able to hold on for the 3-1 victory..

For Edmonton, the loss snapped a two-game winning streak and keeps them at 54 points on the season.

All you need to know and more as we go Under the Scope:

With the Oilers getting back into the game at 2-1 in the third period, Coyotes captain Shane Doan would provide the insurance Phoenix needed. Doan would pick up a loose puck and break down the left wing, letting go a perfectly placed shot over Dubnyk's glove. That put the Coyotes up 3-1 and they held on for the win.

45 The faceoff winning percentage for the Oilers overall in tonight's game. They won 24 of 53 draws.
2 With his goal in tonight's game, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is now tied for second in rookie scoring. He is only 5 points back of the lead despite missing time to injury.
69 The faceoff winning percentage for Sam Gagner in tonight's game, the best by any player in the game. He would win 11 of the 16 draws he took.

Ray Whitney
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +2 3

Martin Hanzal
G A P +/- Shots
0 2 2 +1 0

Taylor Hall
G A P +/- Shots
0 1 1 -1 5

Mike Smith
22 21 1 60:00 .955

Devan Dubnyk
20 17 3 58:26 .850

  Keith Yandle- D

23:42 - 1 PTS, +2 rating

  Ryan Whitney- D

24:44 - 0 PTS, -1 rating

With the Coyotes leading 1-0 in the first period, Ray Whitney would score his 18th of the season to put Phoenix up 2-0. Whitney would deke past an Oilers defenceman with some slick moves before tucking it past Devan Dubnyk for tonight's play of the game.

Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith didn't have to make a ton of saves, but was solid when called upon in tonight's game. With the Oilers scoring to make it 2-1, Smith shut the door the rest of the way making 21 saves for the 3-1 win.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made his return from injury tonight and got right back to providing offence for the Oilers. Nugent-Hopkins would score Edmonton's lone goal in his return, his 14th of the season as he works his way back into the rookie scoring race.

The Phoenix Coyotes are playing some great hockey at the right time of the year. With the win tonight, the Coyotes are a win away from going the entire month of February without a regulation loss. The Coyotes have won every game this month except one shootout loss to Vancouver, the same team they will play in the final game of the month on Tuesday.

"Giving up the first two makes it a tough hill to climb against a team like that. We made it really hard on ourselves."

-- Taylor Hall on tonight's game against Phoenix.

Monday, February 27  vs. Winnipeg
  6:30pm MST (SNET-W / 630 CHED)

The Oilers will head to winnipeg to play the Jets on trade deadline day. It will mark the first game between the two clubs since the Jets landed back in Winnipeg from Atlanta. The game can be seen live on Sportsnet West.

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