Found February 23, 2013 on
Fox Sports Arizona:
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- The Edmonton Oilers were already facing a difficult road trip. They certainly didn't want to carry a losing streak along with them.
Jordan Eberle scored in regulation and in the shootout as the Oilers snapped a two-game slide with a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.
Sam Gagner also scored in the shootout and Teemu Hartikainen had the other goal in regulation for the Oilers, who rallied from a two-goal deficit to finish 2-3 on a five-game homestand.
Oilers coach Ralph Krueger said it was crucial for his team to win before heading out on what could be a season-defining, nine-game trip.
"We were very disappointed with our last two games, and the magnitude of these two points was clear to us," Krueger said. "To be down 2-0 was a real test of our mettle and our makeup.
"To go on the road with these points gives us some good energy that we desperately needed."
Gagner agreed that the Oilers couldn't afford to carry the burden of a losing streak out on the road.
"We desperately needed to win this game," he said. "We weren't happy with how the homestand went. We knew how big a lift it would be to come into this game and find a way to win it.
"It's a good feeling here right now, but we have to keep our foot on the gas for this trip and continue with the right habits."
Kyle Chipchura and Mikkel Boedker scored for the Coyotes, who had a two-game winning streak snapped.
"It was 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."
Mike Smith was excellent in making with 41 saves, but he couldn't stop Eberle and Gagner in the shootout.
"Those were two of the best penalty shots that I have seen in my life," Krueger said. "Smith is one of the best goalies in the league, those goals were just world class."
The Coyotes started the scoring after some prolonged pressure when Chipchura shoveled a shot toward the net that just trickled across the goal line before Oilers starter Nikolai Khabibulin could reach back to glove it.
Edmonton had a couple of opportunities to tie the game up late in the first, both short-handed. Eric Belanger and then Gagner were able to break loose on breakaways, but both were stoned by Smith.
The Oilers came close again five minutes into the second frame as Ryan Jones lifted a rebound over Smith, only to see defenseman Keith Yandle swoop in and glove it out of harm's way.
Phoenix made it 2-0 midway through the second with Nick Schultz serving a double minor for high-sticking. Edmonton had killed off the bulk of the penalty before a Mikkel Boedker shot got past Khabibulin and hit the post, allowing Lombardi to sweep in the rebound.
Edmonton finally got on the board with 3:38 remaining in the second as Nail Yakupov showed some speed hustling for a dump in and send a backhand pass to Eberle who chipped it past Smith.
The Oilers tied the game eight minutes into the third on the power play as Ryan Smyth tipped Justin Schultz's shot and it went straight to Hartikainen at the side of the net for his first of the season.
Edmonton had the best chance in overtime with a power play, but Smith was able to make a dramatic glove save on a hard shot by Gagner.
Khabibulin stopped Boedker and David Rundblad in the shootout and finished with 34 saves.
The Oilers now embark on their extended trip, starting Monday in Chicago, with the Canadian men's curling championships occupying Rexall Place for the next two weeks.
The opening game of the trip might be the toughest as the Oilers will face the Blackhawks, who haven't lost in regulation yet this season.
"We weren't the greatest team at home during this run," Eberle said. "At least with this win we have some momentum going into the road trip."
NOTES: Edmonton forward Taylor Hall served the first of a two-game suspension for his hit on Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck on Thursday. ... Jones played his first game of the season since sustaining an eye injury during a practice session during the lockout. ... Edmonton D Ryan Whitney was a healthy scratch for the fifth time this season. ... Phoenix was without F Radim Vrbata (lower body) and D Derek Morris (upper body).
BEST OF MAXIM
Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Gagner has always been known for his slick hands and his awesome shootout moves. On Saturday afternoon in a shootout with the Phoenix Coyotes he did not disappoint. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith had absolutely no chance on making the save. Smith bit incredibly hard on the fantastic backhand toe-drag that Gagner pulled on him, and Gagner easily tucked...
The Oilers are NOT the worst team in the NHL. Well, not with respect to the amount of talent they possess. The problem in Edmonton is not a lack of talent.
So what is the problem? Why does a team that perhaps possesses a Top 10 in the NHL talent-level continue to play like a last-place team?
Blame whoever you want. I blame Taylor Hall.
You heard me. It's all Taylor...
Edmonton Oilers’ Taylor Hall is not known to be a dirty player, he’s only had one major penalty in his career prior to this. But his hit on Thursday night on Minnesota Wild’s Cal Clutterbuck was extremely dirty. With 17:27 left in the third period, and the Oilers losing 3-1, Hall threw his knee out and used his hip to drive through Clutterbuck, and Clutterbuck was immediately...
Edmonton winger Taylor Hall did not appear to having fun during the Oilers’ 3-1 home loss to Minnesota on Thursday, therefore elected to liven things up with a ballsy hit on the Wild’s Cal Clutterbuck.
The cheap shot to Clutterbuck’s knee occured with less than three minutes remaining in a two-goal game, immediately drawing a game misconduct and less-than-inviting reactions...
Let’s see if the league has two sets of rules again, one set of rules for super stars and one set of rules for goons and third and fourth line players.
Taylor Hall might be a super star, but if a star starts racking up questionable and dirty hits, his actions will start catching up with him. Hall is also starting to develop a history with the Wild players as he also was also...
With the Oilers’ record falling, and the short season becoming shorter, there is no room for error. There is especially no room for lengthy suspensions due to atrocious hits. But that’s exactly what we can expect as the reaction from the league to Taylor Hall’s knee on knee hit on Cal Clutterbuck in Edmonton Thurdsay night. Continue reading "Hall Facing Suspension"
Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall was suspended two games by the National Hockey League Department of Player Safety Friday afternoon for a kneeing incident that occurred Thursday during the Oilers’ 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild.I knew there was going to be a suspension after this hit. Simply, because of the time Cal Clutterbuck takes to get up off of the ice. Right off the...
Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall was suspended two games by the National Hockey League Department of Player Safety Friday afternoon for a kneeing incident that occurred Thursday during the Oilers’ 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild.I knew there was going to be a suspension after this hit. Simply, because of the time Cal Clutterbuck takes to get up off of the ice. Right off the bat...
Maybe Oilers’ GM Steve Tambellini isn’t getting any concrete offers for Whitney. Maybe that’s why this is dragging out and it’s getting messy. I know one thing: you can’t have a $3.8 million player sitting while a $750,000 player like Potter is playing, not if you’re the owner of the team. Can you?
-Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal on Ryan Whitney. Read more...
Personally, I would have like to have seen Hall suspended for three or four games. Oh well. Justice has been served. I also don't believe the logic that you can't hit someone in the open ice, going forward. Just don't lead with your knee. In my opinion, this was a deliberate attempt by Hall to hurt Cal Clutterbuck. Clutterbuck didn't even touch the puck, go back...
Follow me @jaeckel
EDMONTON OILERS @ CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
7:30PM CENTRAL/6:30 MOUNTAIN
United Center, Chicago
CSN Chicago/WGN Radio
RYAN SMYTH JORDAN EBERLE RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS
ALES HEMSKY TEEMU HARTIKAINEN SAM GAGNER
MAGNUS PAAJARVI CHRIS VANDEVELDE NAIL YAKUPOV
BEN EAGER ERIC BELANGER RYAN JONES
NICK SCHULTZ JUSTIN...