With the Phoenix Coyotes struggling mightily of late — they had lost 14 of their last 20 games — a quick road trip against the two worst teams in the Western Conference looked to be the perfect remedy.
But after a 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, the Coyotes found themselves needing to salvage a trip that, on paper, looked promising.
Phoenix did just that Friday against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Coyotes jumped out to a 4-0 lead, then survived a frantic Edmonton rally to hang on for a much-needed 4-3 win over the Oilers and former Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
Here’s a closer look at the win by the numbers:
The Coyotes took just 1:09 between their second and third goals. After Radim Vrbata found the net on Phoenix’s second and final power play of the game, Derek Morris scored to push the Coyotes lead to 3-0 with 1:41 left in the first period.
Edmonton went 0-for-5 on the power play, thanks to a strong effort from the Phoenix penalty-killing unit and solid outing by goalie Mike Smith.
The Coyotes’ defense forced Edmonton into 25 giveaways.
Phoenix didn’t get an abundance of scoring chances, but made the most of its 29 shot attempts.
Edmonton got 39 shots on Smith, though he made the save on 36 of those — several of which came on spectacular efforts.