McDavid scores shootout winner, Oilers top Coyotes 4-3
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Fatigue set in for the Edmonton Oilers in the second game of a back-to-back as part of a five-game road trip.
However. the Oilers found a way to tie the score late in the third period and pick up two more key points with a shootout win.
Connor McDavid got the only goal of the tiebreaker, and the Pacific Division-leading Oilers beat the second-place Coyotes 4-3 Sunday night.
Mikko Koskinen stopped Vinnie Hinostroza on Arizona’s last shootout attempt and finished with 27 saves. The Oilers got even for an overtime loss to Arizona at home earlier this month.
“This is a really big road trip for us,” Koskinen said. “We’re never giving up, and when you believe in each other good things start to happen.”
James Neal, Alex Chiasson and Markus Granlund scored in regulation time for the Oilers, who have won three of four on their current road trip.
Hinostroza, Carl Soderberg and Christian Fischer scored for Arizona, which was also playing the second game of a back-to-back. Alex Goligoski had three assists and Darcy Kuemper stopped 34 shots.
Granlund tied the score at 3 when he collected a dropped catch from Kuemper of his own shot, and put in the rebound with 6:48 to play in regulation.
“That goal, you’ve got to take the body, can’t watch the puck,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “I thought we were doing well.”
The Oilers were more active around the net over the final minutes of the third period and overtime, but couldn’t get another goal.
McDavid extended his point streak to 11 games with his 29th assist of the season, while Leon Draisatl got his NHL-leading 32nd.
The league’s second-best power play entering the game struck quickly. After a too many men on the ice penalty against Arizona, McDavid slid a pass across the Coyotes zone to Draisatl, who found Neal alone near the goal for a tap-in at 2:05 of the first period. It was Neal’s 14th of the season and gave him 21 points and 12 career goals against the Coyotes.
Arizona tied it at 9:43 of the period, with 4 seconds left on a power play. Nick Schmaltz sent a pass to Soderberg, whose long wrist shot zoomed past Koskinen for his seventh goal of the season.
Arizona had a chance to go in front before the first period ended, but Michael Grabner just missed a chance when Koskinen pushed the puck off the post just as it was about to get past him.
Edmonton scored another quick goal to start the second period, Chiasson putting in a pass from Sam Gagner from behind the net.
Gagner replaced injured second-line center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins after being scratched the previous three games.
″(Gagner) comes in and gives us a lot of energy. That’s what you need in this league, for guys to step up at different times,” Chiasson said.
Arizona tied it at 2 on Fischer’s goal off a pass from Grabner behind the net at 11:52. Fischer wriggled away from being tangled up with McDavid along the boards and skated back into the play to collect the pass and score.
“That’s a team we’re chasing, and to give them a point when we have control, it stinks,” Fischer said.
Less than two minutes later, Hinostroza scored on a slap shot from the side that appeared to take a deflection in front of the net. Goligoski got his third assist of the game on the play.
“We didn’t have much gas in the tank, you could tell,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “Tough turnaround, so I’m proud of my guys for hanging around. It’s a good two days for us.”
NOTES: The game marked the return of former longtime Coyotes-now-Oilers head coach Dave Tippett to Arizona. The Coyotes parted ways with Tippett after the 2016-2017 season, and after serving as am adviser for the NHL expansion team coming to Seattle, he was hired by Oilers. The Coyotes played a video tribute to Tippett, who waved in appreciation. ... Oilers F Jujhar Khaira was scratched for the second straight game after hurting his hand blocking a shot against the Los Angeles Kings Thursday. Nugent-Hopkins (hand injury) was scratched just before the game, missing his first game of the season, and is expected to miss at least one more. ... Coyotes F Lawson Crouse was scratched after suffering a head injury Saturday night at Los Angeles.
Edmonton: At Colorado on Wednesday night.
Arizona: Host Anaheim on Wednesday night.
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