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NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Edmonton



(Tuesday, March 2nd)

Final Score: Edmonton 5, Phoenix 4 (OT)

Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Ryan Smyth notched his second goal of the game midway through overtime, as the Edmonton Oilers overcame a late comeback to edge the Phoenix Coyotes, 5-4, at Rexall Place.

Georges Laraque, Steve Staios and Jason Smith also scored for Edmonton, which has earned a point in six of its last seven games (4-1-1-1). Tommy Salo allowed four goals on 33 shots in the victory.

Chris Gratton posted a goal and two assists for the Coyotes, who are now winless in six straight (0-3-1-2) and remained without a victory under new head coach Rick Bowness, who has been behind the bench for the last four.

"I'm very proud of the way we played," said Bowness. "That's not reflected by the five goals against, but...at least we battled back."

Mike Sillinger, Tyson Nash and Daymond Langkow each posted a goal in the loss while Brian Boucher made 22 saves.

After Langkow tied the game late in regulation to send it to overtime, the Oilers tallied at 2:26 of the extra session. Smyth took a face off at the left circle and the puck got caught up in sticks and skates. Smyth, though, was able to follow the puck and he took control before beating Boucher at the left post for the game-winner.

"Before the faceoff, I told Georges (Laraque) that I was going to go through," said Smyth. "Fortunately it hit a skate and came right back to me, I kicked it up and found a little hole and it snuck through."

Edmonton is now 5-0-1 in its last six home games.

Following Sillinger's goal that gave the Coyotes an early 1-0 lead just 1:24 into the opening period, the Oilers scored three straight times to take a two- goal lead.

The first two came within two minutes of each other midway through the first. A shot from the point created a long scrum in front of the Phoenix goal and eventually Laraque, with Phoenix defenseman Ossi Vaananen draped all over him, lifted the puck past Boucher at 10:25.

Then, with 7:37 to play in the first, Ales Hemsky fed a cross-ice pass to Smith, who ripped in a one-timer from the top of the right circle.

Just 40 seconds into the second stanza, Smyth put Edmonton ahead 3-1 on the power play. Shawn Horcoff delivered a saucer pass over the blue line directly onto the stick of Smyth, who skated in on a partial breakaway and beat Boucher up high.

The Coyotes came back and recorded the next two goals, both involving Gratton, to even the contest at three apiece. At 12:37 of the second period, Gratton's stuffer attempt at the left post was pokechecked away by Salo, but the rebound was put back by Nash from in close.

Later in the session, with under two minutes to play before the second intermission, Gratton's individual effort evened up the score. He rumbled through the neutral zone and released a wrist shot from the high slot. Salo made the initial save, but allowed a long rebound, which Gratton followed and fired into the back of the cage with 1:16 remaining.

The Oilers went ahead on Staios' sixth goal of the season early on in the third frame. Smyth hustled down the right-wing side and left the puck for Staios, who blasted home a one-timer for the 4-3 lead at 1:31.

Trailing 4-3, the Coyotes pulled Boucher late in the third period in favor of the extra skater. The gamble paid off, as a scramble in front of the Oiler goal ended when Langkow corralled a rebound in the slot and lifted a wrist shot high over a sprawled-out Salo at 18:44 to create the 4-4 tie.

Game Notes

Coyotes' forward Mike Comrie returned to Edmonton for the first time since a holdout kept him out of the Oilers lineup until mid-December, when he was traded to Philadelphia. The Flyers then traded him to Phoenix...The Coyotes have dropped six straight on the road (0-5-0-1)...The Oilers are unbeaten in three games (2-0-1) against the Coyotes this season and are 7-3-1 in the last 11 meetings overall...Edmonton finished 1-for-3 on the power play, while the visitors went scoreless on their only chance with the extra skater.

03/03 00:57:55 ET


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