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(Saturday, February 23rd)
Final Score: Edmonton 3, Phoenix 2 (SO)
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Sam Gagner scored the game-winner in the first round of the shootout, as the Edmonton Oilers rallied past the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-2.
Jordan Eberle and Teemu Hartikainen scored in regulation for the Oilers, who went 2-3-0 on a five-game homestand. Nikolai Khabibulin made 34 saves.
"This was a real critical moment in our season for us to stay with the pack. Thankfully we were able to pull off the win," Oilers coach Ralph Krueger said.
Kyle Chipchura and Matthew Lombardi lit the lamp for the Coyotes, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Mike Smith stopped 41-of-43 shots.
Down by two goals, Edmonton finally got on the board with 3:38 remaining in the second period. Nail Yakupov gathered the puck in the corner and backhanded a pass to Eberle in front. Eberle batted the disc past Smith for the goal.
Hartikainen's power-play goal at the 8:04 mark of the third period made it 2-2. Justin Schultz's initial shot from the right point was redirected by Ryan Smyth, and the puck ended up on Hartikainen's stick and he found the back of the net.
The Oilers had a great chance to win the game in overtime when Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski went to the penalty box for hooking less than a minute in. However, Smith held strong between the pipes.
Gagner and Eberle scored in the shootout for the Oilers.
"It was a disappointing to lose after having a 2-0 lead," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. "You expect to win at that point and unfortunately we didn't. We had opportunities on the power play and we didn't capitalize on them. We have to be better than that."
The Coyotes drew first blood at the 5:23 mark of the opening period. Chipchura controlled the puck behind the net and skated in front before beating Khabibulin.
In the early stages of the middle stanza, Phoenix defenseman Keith Yandle made a nice play to keep the visitors ahead. Ben Eager and Ryan Jones skated in on a 2-on-1 rush. Jones had his initial shot stopped by Smith, who stacked his pads. With Smith down and out, Jones tried to put his own rebound into the open cage but Yandle swooped in and batted the puck away with his hand.
Lombardi's power-play goal made it 2-0 Phoenix at the 9:42 mark of the middle stanza.
Phoenix had won five straight at Edmonton ... Jones played for the first time this season after sitting out the first 16 games because of an eye injury suffered when he took a puck to the face during the lockout ... Edmonton forward Taylor Hall served the first of a two-game suspension for his hit on Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck on Thursday.
02/23 19:53:18 ET
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