GAME STORY presented by CENOVUS

Under the Scope: Oilers vs. Coyotes

An in-depth look at Friday's shootout loss to Phoenix

Saturday, 20.11.2010 / 12:50 AM / Cenovus Game Story
By Ryan Dittrick  - edmontonoilers.com
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Under the Scope: Oilers vs. Coyotes
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Although the Oilers led the way by establishing a 3-0 lead midway through the second, the surging Coyotes kept pressing and eventually found a way to come back. A late tally with 35 seconds to play tied the game at three, sending the game to overtime and eventually a shootout.

38-year old Ray Whitney recorded a team-high three assists to lead his team to the comeback and eventual victory, while Wojtek Wolski, Lauri Korpikoski, and Radim Vrbata recorded the goals.

For Edmonton, Ales Hemsky and Ryan Whitney each showcased a two-point night, with Shawn Horcoff, Dustin Penner and the aforementioned Hemsky tallying the goals.

All you need to know and more as we go Under the Scope:


While tonight's game featured a number of momentum shifts, the greatest one of all came late in the third period when Phoenix scored the tying marker with only 35 seconds to play. While Phoenix had already made a game of it by coming back from a 3-0 deficit, the game was still in the Oilers' control for much of the night. It was until this goal that ultimately turned the tide and helped lift the Coyotes to an important win over the Oilers. For Edmonton, a sixth consecutive loss as they now head back out on the road.


44 The Oilers returned to their disappointing form in the faceoff circle tonight. The team went 44% in the dot, but Sam Gagner was a bright spot with a 67% efficiency rate.
6 As a team, the Oilers dished out 18 hits on this night. Theo Peckham accounted for one-third of that amount, with an impressive total of six against the Coyotes.

Kurtis Foster also recorded a team-high six shots on goal tonight.

Unfortunately, the Oilers' losing skid has now reached a six-game total.
30 Giveaways were rampant tonight, with both teams accounting for a total of 30 (13 made by Phoenix, 17 by Edmonton).


Ray Whitney
G A P +/- Shots
0 3 3 +1 2


Ales Hemsky
G A P +/- Shots
0 2 2 +2 4


Devan Dubnyk
SA SV GA SV%
42 39 3 .929



COYOTES
Ilya Bryzgalov
SA SV GA TOI SV%
30 27 3 65:00 .900

OILERS
Devan Dubnyk
SA SV GA TOI SV%
42 39 3 65:00 .929



COYOTES
Keith Yandle - D

30:22 - 0P, -1 rating

OILERS
Ryan Whitney - D

29:34 - 2A, +1 rating

Ryan Whitney continues to be the architect of beautiful play-making this season. Late in the second period, the Oilers needed a powerplay goal to expand the lead. The puck eventually found its way to Whitney in a prime shooting position. Rather than fire the puck without traffic, he found Dustin Penner sneaking in the back door. His pin-point pass connected and Penner capitalized on one of the easier goals he'll ever score.


Ales Hemsky had a wonderful night. While his offensive ability continues to be the highlight of his game, his overall play with and without the puck has been a marked improvement this season. His involvement on the penalty kill has been excellent, which was obviously a contributing factor to the game's opening goal. Not only in his defensive game strong, but he presents an offensive threat with the man-disadvantage as well. With one goal and one assist on the night, it was an excellent evening.


While his assist on Shawn Horcoff's goal will likely garner some attention, it was Jordan Eberle's overall game tonight that was particularly great. His work along on the boards in the offensive zone helped sustain an active forecheck all night, and his contributions on the penalty kill were an excellent bonus that helped keep the Oilers in the lead. Eberle will have plenty of nights were offence is the highlight, but he truly did rise as the complete package tonight despite the shootout loss.


Jim Vandermeer has been a physical force all season for the Oilers. Late in the second period, Vandermeer lined up Lauri Korpikoski with a strong shoulder-to-shoulder impact that sent the forward heavily into the boards. Perhaps the best part for Vandermeer and the Oilers is that the momentum following the hit carried through, as Coyotes defenceman Ed Jovanovski was caught in the crossfire. From the single hit, Vandermeer was able to successfully eliminate two Coyotes from the play.



Tom Gilbert became a regular in the Oilers lineup at the beginning of the 2007-08 season. Since then, the blueliner hasn't missed a single game. With tonight's battle in the books, Gilbert has now played 275 consecutive games.



"We played a pretty decent third, but maybe were on our heels a little bit and not aggressive as we should have been. We just couldn't hold on."

- Shawn Horcoff on the loss to Phoenix




Sunday, November 21 vs. Anaheim
  6:00 p.m. MT (Sportsnet West / 630 CHED)

With six consecutive losses to reflect on, the Oilers now head back out on the road for a brief two-game road trip. The first stop is Anaheim where the Oilers will battle the Ducks on Sunday night.

Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com