GLENDALE, AZ - The Edmonton Oilers tied the game with just under 41 seconds remaining in the the third, sending it to overtime and eventually defeating the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in a shootout.
“We let them get back in the game, they took the lead late, but the way we’ve been playing lately we keep fighting,” Oilers winger Matt Hendricks said. “Finally things went our way. We get a big goal by (Sam Gagner) in th3e end and a nice shootout winner by him as well.”
Taylor Hall found linemate Jordan Eberle with a nice pass early in the first period but the duo couldn’t capitalize on that opportunity with a goal. Hall’s next nice passing play would wind up in the back of the net.
With time ticking off the clock and the first period winding down, Hall stepped over the line with the puck. He slowed his pace and waited along the left wing as defenceman Justin Schultz stepped up in the play. Hall served up a pretty pass to his defenceman and Schultz shot from the slot.
Schultz’s shot struck a diving Coyotes defenceman, hopped up and fluttered like a wounded duck past the glove of goalie Thomas Greiss. That goal, with 45 seconds remaining in the opening period, was Schultz’s 10th of the season. Hall picked up his 12th point in his last 10 games with his pass and Eberle chipped in the second assist, his 11th point in his last eight games.
A Jeff Petry hooking penalty put the Oilers down a man at 14:19 of the second period. Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored with a wrister from the face-off dot just 13 seconds into their power play to tie the game, 1-1.Keith Yandle and Mikkel Boadker had the helpers.
Ekman-Larsson fired a point shot on net with just about seven minutes remaining in the third period. The shot was saved by Ben Scrivens’ stick but a juicy rebound was put home by Kyle Chipchura. Martin Erat earned the second assist on the go-ahead goal.
Scrivens was pulled with just over a minute to go in the game to give the Oilers an extra attacker.
With 40.4 seconds remaining, Eberle stripped the puck from Greiss behind the Coyotes net and banked a shot off of Zbynek Michalek. The puck trickled towards the line but Sam Gagner crashed the net and tapped in the easy goal to tie things up at two.
“We were upset to give up that goal,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “We had been settled in to the game and we executed perfectly once that puck went in on their goalie. He had nowhere to go with it. We had the walls taken away and pressure on each side. I think we caught him off guard. But again, I think we played a real, real solid game and it was an excellent hockey game to be a part of.”
Gagner credited Eberle for the big set up on the goal.
“I thought we played hard on this trip and it’s nice to get rewarded there,” he said. “On the goal, it was just a great forecheck by (Eberle) and he put it out and it was a gift for me. It’s nice to help out in the shootout there and come out with the two points.”
It was a scoreless overtime period, followed by a shootout. After Scrivens turned away four attempts in the shootout, Gagner buried the game-winning goal.