In recent history, nothing has been a bigger boost to the fortunes of the Arizona Coyotes than playing the Edmonton Oilers. Tonight was no exception.
Radim Vrbata and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored in the shootout to give the Coyotes a 3-2 victory over the Oilers on Friday night at Gila River Arena. The win extended Arizona’s point streak versus Edmonton to 24 consecutive games.
1-0 Edmonton - Connor McDavid wasted no time getting the Oilers on the board, as he beat Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the neutral zone to score an easy breakaway goal. Assists to Jesse Puljujarvi and Milan Lucic on the goal at 1:31.
2-0 Edmonton - The Oilers struck again after a blown defensive assignment left Adam Larsson all alone on the near-side. He had all day to rifle a shot in past Mike Smith. Assists to Oscar Klefbom and Jordan Eberle on the goal at 17:29.
2-1 Edmonton - Edmonton would have little time to savor the two-goal lead, as Martin Hanzal would abuse Connor McDavid on the ensuing center-ice faceoff. On the zone entry, Hanzal drew McDavid away from Max Domi, who had enough open ice to uncork a quick wrister past Cam Talbot. Assists to Radim Vrbata and Oliver Ekman-Larsson on the goal at 17:38.
No scoring in the second period, but Arizona would get about a minute and a half of carryover penalty time as the period closed.
2-2 Tie - Shane Doan got a much needed goal on a redirected Anthony DeAngelo point shot. Doan was perched perfectly in the low slot to tip the puck in low past Talbot. The goal was challenged for potential goalie interference by Jordan Martinook, but the goal stood. Assists to DeAngelo and Tobias Rieder on the goal at 8:06.
Arizona managed to survive an overtime power play, and just barely made it to the shootout. There, Radim Vrbata and Oliver Ekman-Larsson would take care of business.
- Can the Coyotes get a convincing win? - Convincing? No. But two points is two points is two points.
- Will Jakob Chychrun play tonight and be effective? - Chychrun was a scratch again tonight. He has not played since November 19th.
- Can the Coyotes keep McDavid off the score sheet? - This might have always been wishful thinking...
Here's Connor McDavid lighting it up on a breakaway. pic.twitter.com/WXeU9IVzI2— NHL (@NHL) November 26, 2016
Players of the Game
Edmonton - Connor McDavid - At some point, it gets repetitive. But Connor McDavid is one of the most electrifying players in the NHL today. He opened the scoring tonight and was a terror all around the ice.
Arizona - Mike Smith - Smith needed a bounce-back game after getting pulled in the second period against Vancouver on Wednesday night. He responded with 32 saves on 34 shots.
- For more on the Edmonton Oilers, check out The Copper & Blue.
- Connor Murphy left the game towards the end of the first period after a brutal hit into the boards by Patrick Maroon. Murphy would return midway through the second period.
- Tonight’s first period goal brings Connor McDavid up to 28 points in 22 games, good for most in the NHL.
- Radim Vrbata now has the most shootout goals in NHL history with 43. He broke a tie with Frans Nielsen of the New York Islanders.
- Shane Doan’s third period goal was his first tally in 18 games.
- Connor McDavid appeared to have the overtime winning goal for the Oilers as time expired, but the replay demonstrated that his shot came just a fraction of a second too late:
No goal! Shootout forthcoming. pic.twitter.com/OB9wC2XGSd— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) November 26, 2016
The Coyotes and Oilers might want to consider going halfsies on an airline ticket, as they play each other again on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop is at 1:00 PM.