By Associated Press EDMONTON --Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 35 shots to lead the Coyotes to a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night at Rexall Place. Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata each had a goal and an assist for Phoenix, which posted its fourth victory in a row.
Lee Stempniak also scored a goal for the Coyotes (38-23-11), who have gone 5-0-1 in their last six games to climb into fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
The Coyotes won despite committing 11 penalties. Magnus Paajarvi scored a power-play goal for the Oilers (23-39-9), who have lost five straight games.
Stempniak gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead with 47 seconds left in the first period by taking a chip pass from Lauri Korpikoski and slipping the puck under Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.
The Coyotes went up 2-0 at 11:32 of the second period on a controversial goal scored by Whitney, a former stick kid for the Oilers (see KEY MOMENT below).
Photo by Getty Images.
Edmonton had a great chance to get back into the game early in the third period as Andrew Cogliano was awarded a penalty shot after being slashed by Keith Yandle on a breakaway attempt. However, Cogliano failed to get his shot past Bryzgalov.
Edmonton finally beat Bryzgalov during a power play at 6:05 of the third as Paajarvi fired a wrist shot into the net from the top of the left faceoff circle. Teemu Hartikainen earned an assist on the play for a point in his first career NHL game.
The Coyotes scored an insurance goal with 8:03 left when Vrbata's shot went off a post and past Khabibulin with Oilers forward Linus Omark in the penalty box for diving.
Bryzgalov made 18 of his 35 saves in the third period when the Oilers outshot the Coyotes 19-2.
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com compiled this recap.
Leading 1-0, Coyotes forward Ray Whitney got behind Edmonton defenders and jammed the puck between Nikolai Khabibulin's left pad and the right post at 11:32 of the second period. Whitney was awarded a goal on the ice by referee Brad Meier. The goal was reviewed and allowed to stand.
• The Coyotes' next game is Friday vs. Vancouver at Rogers Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and can be heard on KFNN 1510 (AM).
"I don't think we're going to kid ourselves and think that we played good in any fashion. (Ilya) Bryzgalov was good again, but that's kind of been the story the last month... We didn't play very good at all. If we play like that tomorrow (in Vancouver), they could score in double digits."
"We just didn't play very well as a group tonight. That's the bottom line. We took poor penalties at poor times and we just didn't play very well. But, fortunately, we got the points. I'd rather play bad and get points than play good and not get points.''
"Five-on-five I thought we played great. We were getting in on the forecheck and getting shots and getting chances. We need to put those in if we want to win games."