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Arizona Coyotes edge out Edmonton Oilers...again

The Oilers' inability to score without a man advantage proved costly as Mike Smith stays strong since return.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The return of Oliver Ekman-Larsson brought the return of scoring to Arizona. The Edmonton Oilers' terrible record against the Arizona Coyotes continued as Arizona piled on four goals after going scoreless in each of their last two matches.

Mike Smith did everything he needed to, though there wasn't really a particular standout player for the Coyotes as they finished with a 4-2 victory. It was their play at even strength that really edged out the Oilers who were only able to score on the power play.

Scoring Summary

First Period

1-0 Arizona: Shortly after entering the zone, Oliver Ekman-Larsson threw the puck to the net in an innocent fashion. Unfortunately for the Oilers, Cam Talbot gave up a juicy rebound to his left where an unmarked Alex Tanguay was waiting to bang the puck home into a wide open net. Assists to Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Anthony Duclair at 5:38.

1-1 Tie: With Michael Stone in the box for holding, the Edmonton Oilers went on the power play. Former Coyote Lauri Korpikoski took the puck to the net, scrambling Mike Smith and Connor Murphy to prevent the puck from going into the back of the goal. Murphy tied himself up with Smith preventing the goalie from moving laterally across the crease to make the follow up save on Jordan Eberle,  who was then able to knock the spilled puck home to tie the game. Assists to Nail Yakupov and Lauri Korpikoski at 9:04.

Second Period

2-1 Arizona: After sorely missing him on the power play over the last few games, Oliver Ekman-Larsson was a welcome return to the power play unit. After a signature Ekman-Larsson shot from the point, Cam Talbot coughed up another rebound which the Oilers' defenders tried to clear. They only got as far as Michael Stone - who was now in the same place Ekman-Larsson had been in for the previous shot. With Oilers heading every which way trying to resume their penalty kill positioning, Stone rifled a quick wrist shot back to the front of the net where Martin Hanzal tipped the puck past Talbot and in. Assist to Michael Stone at 12:22

3-1 Arizona: Straight off a Brad Richardson face-off win, Tobias Rieder collected the puck along the right boards of the Coyotes' offensive zone before ducking deep under the face-off circle near the goal line. There he put himself between the puck and the Oilers' defenders, driving laterally across the goal crease and whacking the puck home off the left side post. Assist to Brad Richardson at 17:02.

3-2 Arizona: The Edmonton Oilers managed to pull the game back within reach with a quick power play goal shortly after the Rieder goal. Shane Doan was sent to the box for holding in the Coyotes' offensive zone and the Oilers made Doan pay. Edmonton quickly passed the puck around the point in an umbrella power play setup until Mark Letestu took the shot. His shot was low and it stayed so, passing through Mike Smith's five-hole despite his ability to see the shot coming. Assists to Andrej Sekera and Connor McDavid at 17:56.

Third Period

4-2 Arizona: With Cam Talbot on the bench for an extra attacker, Martin Hanzal took a shot at the empty net from behind the center line. He missed. Thankfully, Max Domi raced to the puck to waive off the impending icing and guided the puck into the back of the empty net. Assists to Martin Hanzal and and Jiri Sekac at 19:14.

Stat Report

Edmonton Oilers Arizona Coyotes
First Period Shots 14 13
Second Period Shots 8 11
Third Period Shots 7 7
Total Shots 29 31
Power Plays 2/4 1/3
Face-off Wins 41% 59%
Save Percentage .900 .931

Three Stars of the Game

As selected by the Coyotes Broadcast Team:

1st Star - Tobias Rieder (ARI)

2nd Star - Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI)

3rd Star - Mike Smith (ARI)

Paw Prints

  • For an Edmonton perspective, check out The Copper & Blue.
  • Good news early in the night for the Coyotes as it appeared that Oliver Ekman-Larsson would be making his return from injury against the Oilers:
  • Nicklas Grossmann remained in the press box with a day-to-day injury.
  • Meanwhile Kyle Chipchura and Viktor Tikhonov were healthy scratches as Sergei Plotnikov and Jiri Sekac returned to the lineup for the Coyotes.
  • Philip Samuelsson was sent back down to the Springfield Falcons in the AHL yesterday after playing just one game for the Coyotes in his latest stint in the NHL.
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson was on the ice for all four Coyotes' goals.
  • Max Domi appears to enjoy the competition against Connor McDavid as he scored seven points in five games against the Oilers this season.
  • Arizona finishes season series against Edmonton with four wins and a shootout loss.
  • Attendance: 13,408.

Looking Ahead

Game two of the Coyotes' four game homestand is on Thursday night against the best in the west, the Dallas Stars. Naturally the game is being played at Gila River Arena, with puck drop at 7:00pm. The game can also be viewed live on Fox Sports Arizona.