Keith Yandle lead the Phoenix Coyotes to a come back victory on Tuesday against the visiting Edmonton Oilers. Yandle scored a pair of goals, including the game winner in overtime, in the 4-3 victory and may have improved his chances to make the US Men's Olympic Hockey team.
“Well obviously I am biased,” Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said. “I see him day in and day out. He's been one of our top players. ..but I certainly think he deserves to be there (on the US Olympic roster). He's played well enough to be there."
Yandle scored the first goal of the game at 10:59 in the first period. It was Yandle's fifth goal of the season and he was assisted by Derek Morris and Lauri Korpikoski.
The Coyotes lead didn't last too long.
The Oilers tied it up, with 1:10 left in the opening period, on Taylor Hall's 11th goal of the season.
35-seconds into the second period Edmonton forward David Perron scored on a breakaway goal and gave the Oilers a 2-1 advantage.
Edmonton extended their lead to 3-1 on Justin Schultz's fourth goal of the season at 6:44 in the second period.
Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett pulled goalie Mike Smith immediately after Schultz's goal. Smith stopped seven of ten-shots and was replaced by Thomas Greiss.
“The change in goal was strictly about changing some momentum,” Tippett said.
Phoenix closed the gap to 3-2 with some luck. Coyotes forward Tim Kennedy scored a fortuitous goal on a shot that bounced off of Oilers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov's leg, then the post and trickled into the net. Michael Stone and Martin Hanzal tallied assists on Kennedy's second goal of the season.
In the waning moments of regulation, when it seemed that the Coyotes would suffer their fourth straight loss, Phoenix forward Mikkel Boedker scored his 11th goal of the season and tied up the game with 1:10 left in the third period.
Playing beyond regulation is nothing new to Phoenix. The Coyotes have headed to overtime in their last six-games. Tuesday's contest was no different and it seemed to be headed to a shootout until Yandle scored on a breakaway goal with just 6.5-seconds remaining in the overtime period. It was Yandle's second goal of the game and sixth of the season.
The largest home crowd of the season got a proper New Year's Eve celebration and witnessed a Coyotes squad that found a way to win.
“We felt good after the first (period) and we didn't feel the best after the second (period),” Yandle said. “We didn't have our best second. In this league it doesn't matter who you are playing, you have to put together a whole 60-minute effort together. I felt we did a really good job in the third (period) and overtime to find a way to win.”
The win improved the Coyotes record to 20-10-9 on the season. Phoenix gets New Year's Day off and on Thursday they host the Columbus Blue Jackets. The puck is scheduled to drop at 9 p.m. (ET)