Oilers close out their five game homestand coming back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Phoenix in a shootout.
- NET VALUE- The team decided that arming themselves with Nikolai Khabibulin was the way to go for this contest. After allowing a goal on the first Coytoes shot of the game, Khabibulin settled down and played just fine. This both delighted and frightened me. Khabibulin turned aside 34 of 36 Coyotes shots (plus a couple in the shootout).
- 5v5 NUMBERS HOLD STEADY – and that’s not a good thing. Jordan Eberle had a goal assisted from Nail Yakupov and Sam Gagner that looked like a play the Coyotes didn’t think would amount to much. Gagner dumped the puck in deep, Yakpuov chased it and fed it out in front of Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith. Eberle was able to stuff it in the net for Edmonton’s only even strength goal of the game. Oilers now have 18 even strength goals in 17 games, a number that will certainly need to improve if the Oilers are thinking about entertaining the second season.
- COMEBACK KIDS – The Oilers were down two goals. This is the game they decide to come back in and hold steady at the end. It was a game that this team absolutely needed. I was getting ready for the cliff to fall out from under me with about 30 seconds remaining in regulation, but that never came.
- NO HALL? DEFER TO CAPTAIN CANADA – With Taylor Hall out of the lineup serving a suspension, I thought they’d slot Magnus Paajarvi on the top line. That’s not exactly what happened, as Ryan Smyth saw some top six action. When the power play came calling, Smyth was there to answer. Let’s talk about the second goal of the game, a power play goal scored by Teemu Hartikainen. A clearing attempt from around the boards turns into a point shot for Justin Schultz. Schultz’s shot was redirected beautifully by Ryan Smyth in front of the net, which let Teemu Hartikainen slam home the tying goal. A guy could get used to this.
- Sam Gagner, ladies and gentlemen.
- Oilers are 2-0 against the Coyotes on the season, which is good. Tomorrow, they take on the Chicago Blackhawks on the beginning of a nine-game road trip. You may remember the Blackhawks, they’re undefeated in regulation.No sweat. Right?
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