Edmonton in Arizona victory
Connor McDavid was on target for the Edmonton Oilers, adding another point to his streak, which now stands at 11 games, before scoring the decisive goal in overtime to help his side to beat the Arizona Coyotes at the Gila River Arena at the weekend.
Markus Granlund had tied the game with his third goal in the last four matches, with 6:48 left on the clock in the third period, to set up overtime, while Mikko Koskinen came up with 27 saves for the Oilers, who have an impressive 3-1-0 record on their current road trip, and a 6-2-1 record in the last nine.
The importance of the victory was evident in the comments of Koskinen, speaking to the media after the win, which gives the Oilers a four-point lead over the Coyotes at the top of the Pacific Division:
“It’s a huge win. This is a really big road trip for us. This tells a lot about us, that we’re never giving up.”
For Arizona, who went into the game as slight favourites with sports betting companies, Alex Goligoski contributed three assists, while Darcy Kuemper ended the game with 34 saves, but they were unable to hang on to a 3-2 lead in the final period and paid the price in overtime.
James Neal had given the Oilers the lead early in the first period with a power play strike, his 10th of the season, courtesy of assists from McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but the visitors appeared to be suffering the effects of a back-to-back spell of fixtures and they conceded on 9:43 in the first when Carl Söderberg fired in a wrist shot from the circle.
Alex Chiasson made it 2-1 to the visitors early in the second period, taking advantage of a pass from Sam Gagner, who had stepped up to play centre in their second line following the hand injury sustained by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
However, the home side levelled again through Christian Fischer, who eluded McDavid and took a pass from Michael Grabner to score at 11:52, before Vinnie Hinostroza gave Arizona lead at 13:25, and they seemed to be on their way to victory until Granlund’s crucial strike.
The Oilers will now aim to close out their road trip with a win against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, while the Coyotes will take on the Anaheim Ducks on the same day.
Words: Stijn Janssen