The Coyotes overcame a slow start and shaky defense to win their second game in a row, thanks in large part to Mikkel Boedker's first career hat trick. The Dane leads the Western Conference in scoring with five goals in three games, picking up where he left off last season.
"You have to find the right spots to put them in and I'm getting good opportunities from my line-mates and they're finding me and obviously when you're in the right spot you feel the puck on your stick and you try to put it in every time," Boedker said.
Boedker led the way offensively, but the Coyotes found plenty of ways to score on the woeful Oilers. Thirteen different Coyotes recorded at least one point.
Arizona's defense continues to be a problem, as the Yotes allowed another four goals and had a plethora of turnovers throughout the game. Every defensive pairing was guilty of at least one mind-numbing giveaway.
"I would like to see us be more sound, we got away with it tonight, but it was a sloppy game," coach Dave Tippett said.
"Tonight it just seemed like pucks were jumping all over the place, it was just scrambly, major mistakes, it ended up with a lot of goals in the game."
Mike Smith's start to the season has been a mix of unlucky and terrible. While it was a fairly even mix of both in his first start of the season, against the Oilers, it was mostly about the defense in front of him. He stopped 23 of 27 shots for his first win of the season, but he and the defense must improve for the Coyotes to contend for a playoff spot.
Another aspect of the Coyotes game that is cause for concern is their inability to successfully start the game.
For the third game in a row the Coyotes gave up the first goal of the game, this time to Taylor Hall. An inability to clear the puck resulted in a tic-tac-toe pass from Nikita Nikitin to Jordan Eberle to Hall, who pushed the puck past Smith 1:25 into the game.
It was the start of an offensive showcase, or more accurately a defensive tire fire, in the opening period.
Boedker scored his third goal of the season to tie the game on a breakaway. A perfect stretch pass from Keith Yandle landed on the stick of No. 89, who glided past Edmonton's defense and finished with a backhand top shelf.
Arizona briefly took the lead on Kyle Chipchura's first goal of the season before a strange bounce on the dump-in landed on the stick of Mark Fayne and into the back of the net, erasing Arizona's advantage.
The Coyotes shored things up defensively, at least for 20 minutes, and began to pull away in the second period. Connor Murphy and Rob Klinkhammer scored their first goals of the young season to push Arizona's lead to 4-2.
"I think we came out a little flat tonight," Klinkhammer said. "(Murphy), seemed to spark the boys there and I think we were rolling after that."
The final frame featured plenty of offense as constant turnovers by both teams led to each team finding the back of the net multiple times. The two teams traded goals back and forth, starting with Mark Arcobello's second of the season. Boedker scored his second tally of the game and Martin Erat added one of his own before Hall scored again.
Boedker was fed his second breakaway of the game late in the third period with an empty net. He skated as close as he could to the net without crashing into it and put the puck gently past the goal line for his third of the night. Hats off.
All's well that ends well.
- Edmonton's perspective: The Copper & Blue
- The Coyotes are 11-0-3 in last 14 games against the Oilers
- Boedker's three-game goal streak ties his career high
- Coyotes are 92-3-6 under Tippett when scoring four or more goals
- Smith even scored a point, assisting on Boedker's first goal.
- Attendance: 11,648
1. Mikkel Boedker - Uh, hat trick. Duh.
2. Taylor Hall - Two goals, three points and was a dynamic offensive player
3. Martin Erat - Goal and an assist
The Coyotes play the final game of their four-game homestand to start the season on Saturday night against the St. Louis Blues. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m.