Oilers look for redemption, face reeling Coyotes
The Edmonton Oilers will look for a bounce-back win when they host the reeling Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday.
The Oilers suffered their second loss in the past three games, falling 3-2 to the visiting Washington Capitals on Monday. The Coyotes are coming off a 3-2 loss at Calgary on Monday, Arizona’s ninth defeat in its past 10 games, with three of the setbacks coming in overtime or a shootout.
Edmonton took a 2-1 in the second period on goals by Brett Kulak and Connor McDavid before the Capitals pulled even on T.J. Oshie’s goal with a little more than three minutes left in the period. Nic Dowd’s goal at the 7:13 mark of the third period proved to be the difference.
While McDavid scored in his fifth straight game to give him 22 goals for the season — second most in the league — it was Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner (7-6, 2.93 goals-against average) who kept Edmonton in the game. He finished with 47 saves, including 22 in the first period alone, as Washington outshot the Oilers by a whopping 50-30 for the game.
“We weren’t as quick and physical as we wanted to be in the defensive zone,” Edmonton head coach Jay Woodcroft said. “Our goalie stood tall. We’re 2-2 going into the third period. We made a critical error, and it ended up in the back of our net.”
McDavid, who leads the NHL with 48 points and is tied for first with 26 assists, has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) during a six-game point streak. Leon Draisaitl, whose five-game goal streak ended on Monday, is second in the league with 42 points, as his 25 assists are tied for third and his 17 goals are tied for fourth.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has 11 goals and 16 assists, with Zach Hyman adding nine goals and 17 assists.
While Edmonton’s 89 goals are fifth most in the Western Conference, Arizona’s 61 goals are tied with the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators for the league’s fewest.
The Coyotes have been held to three goals or fewer in each contest of their five-game losing streak (0-3-2) and have scored more than three just once — in a 4-0 win over the Hurricanes on Nov. 23 — during a stretch in which they’ve lost nine of their past 10 games (1-6-3).
Lawson Crouse’s 10 goals are at least three more than any other Coyote, while Clayton Keller and Matias Maccelli each have a team-leading 15 assists.
After falling behind the Calgary Flames 2-0 in the first period, Shayne Gostisbehere scored in the second period before Jakob Chychrun tied the game at the 5:50 mark in the third period.
However, Nazem Kadri’s power-play goal with 4:18 left gave the Flames the lead for good.
Karel Vejmelka (6-7-3, 3.03 GAA) made 24 saves for the Coyotes, who were outshot 27-20.
“It’s frustrating,” Arizona forward Nick Bjugstad said. “Obviously, we gave a good push. We thought we played pretty well. That seems to be a bit of a trend with us lately where we’re hanging in some close games. We’ve got to find ways to win these tight games.”
–Field Level Media