EDMONTON - The Edmonton Oilers kept shooting, and they were rewarded with a shootout win.
Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle got tiebreaker goals past Mike Smith, giving Edmonton a 3-2 win over the Coyotes at Rexall Place on Saturday afternoon.
Smith made 41 saves for the Coyotes, including a glove catch on Gagner during a 4-on-3 short-handed situation in overtime. He also made several saves during regulation to thwart breakaways by the Oilers.
Trailing 2-0 midway through the second period, the Oilers tied the score with 11:56 left in the third on a tap-in goal by Teemu Hartikainen.
A clearing attempt off the boards by Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson did not get past Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz, whose shot from the point was deflected by Ryan Smyth across the crease to Hartikainen waiting at the left post. It was his first goal in 15 games this season.
Matthew Lombardi, who had not played since Jan. 24, scored his first goal of the season to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead in the second period.
The goal at 9:42 was the result of Lombardi going hard to the crease during a power play. Boedker's shot from the right-wing boards hit the far post and ricocheted off the left leg of Khabibulin. Lombardi skated in from the opposite side and was able to backhand the loose puck into the net.
The goal snapped a 1-for-23 power-play slump for Phoenix, but it finished the game 1-for-7.
Kyle Chipchura's hard work put the Coyotes ahead 1-0 early in the first period. He stole the puck behind the Edmonton net, skated out in front, turned and fired a shot past Khabibulin at 5:23.
Smith held the Oilers scoreless in the first, stopping two short-handed breakaways by Oilers Eric Belanger and Gagner. Smith got help in the second period when, after making a sprawling save, Keith Yandle had to bat a goal-bound puck away with his glove.
The Oilers finally broke through at 16:22 of the second period. Nail Yakupov won the race for a dump-in that hit off the end boards and his pass in front was tapped in by Eberle.
“It was disappointing to lose after having a 2-0 lead,” Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. “You expect to win at that point, and unfortunately we didn’t. We had opportunities on the power play and we didn’t capitalize on them.”
Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said his team was sloppy with the puck and it cost them the extra point.
“We just kept giving them the puck back,” Tippett said. “And when you keep giving the puck back to them, they're going to do good things with it. … We'll take the two points, but that's a game I'd like to see our team lock down and put away.”
Edmonton was without leading scorer Taylor Hall, who served the first of a two-game suspension he received for kneeing Cal Clutterbuck of the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.
“I thought this was a really critical moment in our season, to stay with the pack,” Oilers Head Coach Ralph Krueger said. “We were very disappointed with the last few games and the magnitude of these points was clear. To be down 2-0 was a real test of our mettle and our makeup. The team stayed with it.”
1. Coyotes center Matthew Lombardi returned to the lineup after missing the past 12 games because of an upper-body injury. Lombardi played 17:59 and scored the team’s second goal after teammate Mikkel Boedker nearly scored. It was Lombardi’s first goal since coming back to Phoenix via a trade just before the season started. “I was pretty surprised it didn't go in there ... it hit two posts,” Lombardi told FOX Sports between periods. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”
2. The Coyotes played with forwards Radim Vrbata (lower-body injury) and Martin Hanzal (upper-body injury), who have notched 12 and 10 points, respectively. Both players are considered day-to-day. They also played minus injured defensemen Derek Morris (upper-body injury) and David Schlemko (upper-body injury).
3. Coyotes forward Raffi Torres played in his 600tth NHL game. Torres logged 15:33 of ice time and delivered a team-high three hits.
5. The loss snapped Phoenix’s winning streak at Rexall Place at five games. Before Saturday, the Coyotes had not lost at Edmonton since Nov. 23, 2009.
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