The Phoenix Coyotes beat the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Saturday afternoon but they did it with their offense and not their defense. Five different Coyotes scored in the 5-4 victory and for the third time in their last four games Phoenix scored four or more goals.
“I like scoring goals, don't get me wrong,” Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said. “I like some of the plays we're making. I just don't like us giving up four or five (goals) a night because you're not going to win in this league like that.”
The Oilers struck first on Tyler Pitlick's breakaway goal at 9:59 in the opening period. It was Pitlick's first goal of the season and it continued the trend of the Coyotes of coming out of the gates slowly. This season Phoenix has been outscored 14-5 in the first period.
Phoenix got on the scoreboard within 47-seconds of the second period on Martin Hanzal's fifth goal of the season. Hanzal has four goals in his last four games.
“He's trying to be our lead horse out there and if you look at him he is,” Tippett said. “He plays in all situations and plays a big hard game...He has had a good start to the year.”
The Coyotes took the lead on Michael Stone's second goal of the season. Stone's wrist shot found the net at 5:20 in the second.
Before the Oilers had a chance to relax the Coyotes defenseman David Schlemko scored his first goal of the season. Schlemko's goal was 27-seconds after Stone's and it gave Phoenix a 3-1 lead.
But the Coyotes lead was short lived as the Oilers scored two unanswered goals to close out the second period. Will Acton scored at 8:03 and then David Perron scored with 57-seconds left in the period.
The Oilers took a 4-3 lead after Edmonton forward Ryan Jones tipped in a Ryan Nugent-Hopkin's slap shot. Jones second goal of the season occurred at 7:23 in the third period.
Edmonton would be shutout for the rest of the game and the Coyotes offense took over.
Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle scored his first goal of the season on a slap shot from just inside the blue line. At 10:40 the game was tied but less than two-minutes later Phoenix would take the lead.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson's wrist shot was partially blocked by former Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera and trickled into the goal at 12:23. Ekman-Larsson's third goal of the season was the difference.
With the win the Coyotes improved to 7-3-2 on the season and the Oilers dropped to 3-8-1. Phoenix gets a couple of days and on Tuesday, October 29th they host the Los Angeles Kings. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m. (PT)
“Our game is going to have to get better,” Tippett said. “Don't get me wrong I like winning. Any time you can win you should have a smile on your face. But I look at it as how are we going to win long term. There are just some things in our game that need to improve if we're going to have a chance to win long term.”