Sam Gagner scored in the last minute to force overtime and he also had a highlight reel shootout attempt to score the lone goal of the skills competition as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2.
Ben Scrivens won his 8th game in an Oilers uniform, outdueling Thomas Greiss in the Coyotes net. Both keepers stopped 24 of 26 shots, but it was Gagner’s deke in the fourth round of the shootout that was the difference in the end.
Justin Schultz opened the scoring in the last minute of the first period to put the Oilers up 1-0 through 20 minutes. Oliver Ekman-Larsson tied it up late in the second period on a Phoenix power play, and then Kyle Chipchura put the Coyotes ahead just past the midway point of the third. That set up Gagner’s heroics, as with Scrivens on the bench, Greiss gave the puck up behind the net to Jordan Eberle. The puck was shoved into the crease before Greiss could get back in and Gagner tapped it home.
The loss was critical for the Coyotes, who are fighting tooth and nail with the Dallas Stars for the final playoff spot in the West. Phoenix moved one point ahead of the Stars, but Dallas has 2 games in hand on the Coyotes.
For the Oilers, playing out the string on another disappointing season, it is a source of pride that they continue to put forth an effort and are not mailing it in.