Denis Grebeshkov scores his first career NHL goal on Mikael Tellqvist in the second period.
- photo by Andy Devlin Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club
It didn't take Edmonton long to take the lead as 2:15 into the opening period a pair of goals 28 seconds apart gave the Oilers a 2-0 lead over Phoenix.
First, Ethan Moreau took the puck into the Phoenix zone and wristed a shot from the right circle that evaded Coyotes starting netminder Ilya Bryzgalov.
28 seconds later, Kyle Brodziak took a feed from Robert Nilsson and fired it from the high slot past Bryzgalov to double the OIlers' lead to 2-0.
Phoenix almost narrowed the gap a couple minutes later when Mike York one-timed a shot after receiving a cross-crease pass but Garon slid across to make the denial.
An interesting sequence of events occurred near the midway point of the period. First, Zack Stortini was hit from behind in the corner of the Coyotes zone. Moments later, Stortini got up and planted himself in front of the Phoenix net. He picked up a rebound on a Tom Gilbert point shot and rang it off the post.
Kyle Brodziak swooped in from the side boards to put the rebound in past Bryzgalov but referee Kerry Fraser ruled the whistle had gone.
After the whistle, Stortini got into it with Boynton and the result of the play was two separate cross-checking penalties on Boynton plus two for roughing for both him and Stortini.
36 seconds into the power play, Sheldon Souray teed up a blast from the point that beat Bryzgalov through the five hole. He was screened on the play by Dustin Penner.
Garon came up with a couple of big saves in the latter half of the period to keep Edmonton up by three goals. On one of the stops, Stortini made a smart play to dish the puck back to his netminder so he can cover the rebound.
After Andrew Cogliano was struck with a high stick, Edmonton went on a late power play. 40 seconds into the man advantage, Shane Doan created a turnover in the neutral zone and broke in alone on Garon.
In pursuit of the breakaway, Souray slashed Doan and received both a five minute major for slashing as well as a penalty shot awarded to the Coyotes captain. Souray also received a game misconduct on the play.
Garon denied Doan on the penalty shot as Doan tried to go low stick side but the Oilers netminder made a stand-up save.
Shots on goal after one period were 13-10 for Phoenix.
Because of the Souray penalty, the Oilers started the second period down a man for close to three-and-a-half minutes but the penalty killers did a good job limiting the chances for Phoenix.
Garon made a brilliant save 8:41 into the second when he snagged a Nick Boynton slapshot out of mid-air.
A minute later, Brodziak passed the puck up to Robert Nilsson sending both skaters in on a two-on-none. Nilsson fired a shot blocker side and beat Bryzgalov.
The goal chased Bryzgalov from the Phoenix net. He was replaced by Mikael Tellqvist after allowing four goals on 15 shots.
With 3:24 to go in the second, Peter Mueller passed the puck across the Oilers crease to Coyotes defenceman Keith Ballard. He had the entire upper half of the net to shoot at and made no mistake, roofing it to make the game 4-1.
Late in the second, Denis Grebeshkov scored his first career NHL goal to help Edmonton regain its four-goal lead. Horcoff had the puck in the corner of the Coyotes zone and he threaded a perfect pass right on the stick of the pinching Oilers defenceman for the tap-in.
After two, shots were 23-21 for the Coyotes.
6:36 into the third period, Phoenix defenceman Nick Boynton scored on a quick low wrist shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle that slipped past Garon and closed the gap to 5-2.
Midway through the third, Gagner sprung Reasoner on a breakaway. His shot went off the shoulder of Tellqvist and over the net.
With over a minute left in the game, Tellqvist made a nice save on a redirection attempt from Gagner at the top of the crease. The Oilers rookie took a pass from Andrew Cogliano and put it on net.
With 29.5 seconds to go, Stortini and Boynton engaged in a quick bout after a shouting match between the two combatants. Boynton turtled on the play, resulting in a four minute penalty to Stortini for roughing plus a ten minute misconduct.
NOTES: The three goals scored for the Oilers in the first period matched a season high for goals in one period. It was the sixth time this season they reached that mark... Ballard's second period goal ended Mathieu Garon's shutout streak at 101:43.
Oilers goaltender Mathieu Garon stops Coyotes captain Shane Doan on a penalty shot.
- photo by Greg Skafte edmontonoilers.com