Oilers overcome slow start, beat Coyotes 5-2
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) The Edmonton Oilers just had to get back to basics and be patient to rediscover their scoring touch.
Leon Draisaitl and Oscar Klefbom each had a goal and two assists as Edmonton overcame a slow start to beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Matt Hendricks, Mark Letestu and Patrick Maroon also scored for the Oilers, who won for only the second time in six games. They scored just four goals in the previous five.
”We have so many guys with so much offensive potential in this room,” Klefbom said. ”With that kind of skill, it was just a matter of time. It was nice to get five goals, especially at home.”
Maroon said it’s simply a matter of getting down and dirty.
”We scored two goals in the blue paint tonight,” he said, referring to the goalie’s crease. ”We were getting away from that. Our big guys were getting away from that and not creating havoc in front of the net to get those second and third opportunities.
”All of our lines played tremendous and hopefully we can start trending in the right direction moving forward.”
Josh Jooris and Martin Hanzal had the goals for the Coyotes, who won their previous two games.
”We took penalties and our puck play was just red-rotten,” coach Dave Tippett said. ”They capitalized on their power play. We didn’t capitalize on the 5-on-3 we had and we chased it the rest of the way.”
Arizona took the lead just past the midway point of the first period as Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s point shot through a crowd hit Jooris in front and trickled past Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, who finished with 23 saves.
Edmonton came storming back to start the second, with two goals 31 seconds apart.
The Oilers tied it on the power play three minutes into the period as Milan Lucic sent a puck in front to Draisaitl and he showed persistence in batting in his own rebound on the backhand for his 21st of the season.
Before that goal had been announced, the Oilers got a workmanlike effort from Hendricks, who battled to shove the puck under Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue.
Just 11 seconds after that, however, it was tied up again. Hanzal beat Talbot on a long shot to the glove side for his fourth goal in three games.
Edmonton made it 3-2 on a two-man advantage midway through the second as Connor McDavid moved back into the NHL scoring lead, setting up a one-timer by Letestu.
The Oilers took a two-goal lead three minutes into the third when Anton Slepyshev sent Klefbom in all alone and the defenseman beat Domingue.
Four minutes later, Edmonton made it 5-2 when Maroon scored his career-high 20th while being hauled down to the ice in front of the Arizona net.
Domingue, the Coyotes’ backup, faced 33 shots and had little to say after the game.
”Honestly guys, I’ve got no answer for you,” he said. ”I play once a month. It wasn’t good enough. So I have zero answers for the rest of your questions.”
NOTES: Edmonton won the season series 3-1-1. … Oilers forward Iiro Pakarinen made his season debut after sustaining a knee injury in a preseason game. Pakarinen replaced Benoit Pouliot, who was injured in practice on Sunday.
Coyotes: Wrap up a three-game trip in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Oilers: Play their final home game of February on Thursday against Philadelphia.