Coyotes rally, beat Oilers in shootout
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EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- The Phoenix Coyotes have put in their fair share of overtime.
Eric Belanger scored the shootout winner for the Coyotes, who rallied from a three-goal deficit and beat the struggling Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Friday night.
Phoenix tied it 3-3 with 35 seconds left in regulation when Wojtek Wolski netted his third of the season while Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was off for an extra skater.
It was a pleasant change for the Coyotes, who have five losses this season after regulation time.
"We were fortunate to get one there in the end," said Coyotes forward Ray Whitney, who assisted on each Phoenix goal. "If you look at our games in the last three weeks we have been up late and had teams come at us.
"I know what (the Oilers) are going through because we have been doing that consistently ourselves."
Lauri Korpikoski and Radim Vrbata had the other goals in regulation for the Coyotes (9-5-5), who won their fifth in a row and have at least a point in seven straight. Vrbata also had two assists.
"We were on our heels and made some mental mistakes," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said of his team's start. "We were fortunate to get over those. Usually when you make those you don't win. We'll take the points."
Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff and Dustin Penner scored for the Oilers (4-10-4), who have lost six straight and have just two wins in 16 games.
At least this time Edmonton didn't get blown out. The Oilers were outscored 30-8 in their previous five games.
"It's an upgrade," Oilers coach Tom Renney said. "We have to keep ratcheting this thing up because we still lost the game, but we certainly played better than we have been.
"We have to be better in our end. We lost our composure."
Devan Dubnyk, subbing in goal for injured No. 1 starter Nikolai Khabibulin, agreed this performance was an improvement for the Oilers
"I thought we took a big step in playing for 60 minutes," he said. "That's all the fans here are asking, to play the way we played tonight. As long as we're working hard and busting our butts."
Phoenix had a chance to take control early when Edmonton's Andrew Cogliano took a major penalty for boarding after running Kyle Turris from behind. Turris left the game with an undisclosed upper body injury and didn't return.
Edmonton took a 1-0 lead when Ryan Whitney sprung Hemsky on a long breakaway pass midway through the penalty kill. Bryzgalov made the initial save, but Hemsky buried the rebound for the short-handed goal.
The Oilers went up 2-0 four minutes into the second on the power play. Jordan Eberle's shot was stopped but the rebound came to Horcoff, who batted it in for his sixth of the season.
Edmonton went up by three with eight minutes remaining in the period as Whitney made a perfect pass to Penner, who had an easy redirection just as the Oilers' two-man advantage expired.
Phoenix quickly cut into that lead with a pair of goals in less than two minutes.
Korpikoski showed great hands on a partial breakaway and he beat Dubnyk with a backhanded to get the Coyotes on the board.
Just 1:23 later, Vrbata made it 3-2 with a wrist shot during a power play.
Notes: The Coyotes were again without captain Shane Doan, who has missed seven games with an undisclosed lower body injury. Doan is skating with the team and might play Sunday. ... D Kurt Sauer (concussion) also remains on the injured list for Phoenix. ... With Khabibulin out with a pulled groin, the Oilers brought up Martin Gerber to back up Devan Dubnyk. ... Oilers D Ladislav Smid (concussion) also sat out. Forward Gilbert Brule was a healthy scratch after being benched in the Oilers' 5-0 loss to Chicago on Wednesday. ... Three members of the Coyotes -- Vernon Fiddler, Derek Morris and David Schlemko -- list Edmonton as their hometown. ... The Oilers and the Coyotes rank 27th and 28th in the NHL, respectively, in shots against per game.
Updated November 19, 2010