GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Edmonton Oilers have dominated the Coyotes over the past two seasons, but that wasn’t the case on Thursday night in front of 14,337 fans at Jobing.com Arena.
Matthew Lombardi, Ken Klee, and Martin Hanzal scored goals as Phoenix beat the Oilers 3-2 to end a seven-game slide vs. Edmonton.
“A couple of the games, I thought we deserved a better fate, but they still got wins out of it,” Klee said. “Tonight, we stuck with it and got it done.”
The Coyotes (31-36-7) outplayed Edmonton in the first 40 minutes and built a 3-0 lead with timely goals and excellent goaltending from Ilya Bryzgalov.
Lombardi opened the scoring with his 13th goal and fourth as a member of the Coyotes. Streaking down the left side, Lombardi fired a wrist shot off the right post past Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson at 3:42 of the first period to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead.
“We just wanted to get out front,” Lombardi said. “We played hungry, we worked hard and things went our way.”
A couple of the games, I thought we deserved a better fate, but they still got wins out of it. Tonight, we stuck with it and got it done."- Ken Klee
Edmonton had a chance to tie the score at 1 with their leading goal scorer in control of the puck, but Ales Hemsky was denied by Bryzgalov on a breakaway five minutes into the second period to keep the slim lead.
Klee scored his first goal with Phoenix in the second period to give the Coyotes some breathing room. After some low pressure from the Coyotes, forward Nigel Dawes collected a loose puck and fed Klee for a one-timer over Roloson's shoulder for his first tally in 70 games at 11:38.
“Obviously, I am not that concerned with scoring, but it's nice to contribute,” said Klee, who last scored on Feb. 28, 2008 when he was with the Atlanta Thrashers. “I just want to make sure we get some wins here. We are trying to build some confidence and momentum going here where we feel good about this team and the guys in the room, and the best way to do it is to get wins.”
Hanzal, who sat out against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, scored the game-winning goal. With the puck behind Edmonton's net, Shane Doan found Hanzal open in front. Hanzal made a quick deke, then shot the puck past Roloson for his 11th goal at 14:46 of the second period.
With a 3-0 lead at the second intermission, Head Coach Wayne Gretzky knew the Coyotes were in for a tough third period against a team that is in need of points in the tightly bunched Western Conference standings.
Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images
Ales Kotalik, who was acquired from Buffalo just before the trade deadline, put the Oilers on the scoreboard with a power-play goal midway through the third period.
Hemsky then scored his team-leading 22nd goal 43 seconds later to give the Oilers new life. With the puck between the legs of Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek, Hemsky released a sneaky shot the beat Bryzgalov to the blocker side to cut Phoenix's lead to one goal.
Playing with desperation, the Oilers (35-30-9) launched six shots at Bryzgalov in the final seven minutes, but to no avail.
Bryzgalov finished with 26 saves and earned his second career victory against Edmonton.
• Phoenix scratched Todd Fedoruk, Enver Lisin, David Hale, Steven Reinprecht and Joakim Lindstrom. Brian McGrattan is out because of a season-ending injury. The Oilers scratched Jean-Francois Jacques, Steve MacIntyre, Zack Stortini, Theo Peckham and Marc Pouliot.
• Defenseman Kurt Sauer wore the alternate captain’s designation in place of Reinprecht. “He's had a very solid year for us,” Gretzky said. “He is deserving of wearing an ‘A’ just for his hard work and what he has brought to the team.”
• The defeat was Edmonton's first at Jobing.com Arena since Oct. 26, 2006.
• Phoenix is 3-1-1 in its past five games and 4-2-1 in its past seven games at Jobing.com Arena.
• Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid played in his 200th NHL game. Roloson started his 30th straight game, extending his team record.
• The Oilers outshot the Coyotes 28-23.
Wrist shot -
1 - 0 PHX
Snap shot -
2 - 0 PHX
Wrist shot -
3 - 0 PHX
3 - 1 PHX
Wrist shot -
3 - 2 PHX