Who knows where the Arizona Coyotes would be in the standings if not for the existence of the Edmonton Oilers?
Tuesday’s 5-1 victory in Edmonton completed the five-game season sweep of the Oilers and marked the 18th consecutive game the Coyotes earned at least one point against their Pacific Division rival. The last time the Coyotes lost in regulation to Edmonton was on Jan. 25, 2011.
Arizona wasted little time lighting the lamp, scoring a pair of goals in the game’s first five minutes and never looking back. Even when their lead was briefly cut in half and faced a 5-on-3 penalty kill in the first period, the Coyotes didn’t waiver.
Keith Yandle scored his fourth of the season with a one-timer off a Shane Doan pass from behind the net. Brandon Gormley and Sam Gagner scored 13 seconds apart early in the third period to put the game out of reach.
The Coyotes relied on a pair of ex-Oilers to lead the way. Gagner potted a pair of goals and scored four points, while Devan Dubnyk stopped 26-of-27 shots en route to his seventh win of the season. Both players are in their first seasons with the Coyotes.
It was a much needed win by a team that has won only three of its last 13 games. All three of those wins came against the Oilers. In fact, Arizona’s last non-Oilers win came on Nov. 22 in a 4-3 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks.
Here’s a look at Tuesday’s victory by the numbers.
2 (Part I)
The Coyotes started off as strong as they possibility could, scoring two goals on their first three shots and chasing Edmonton’s starting goalie Ben Scrivens from the game.
2 (Part II)
Brandon Gormley has two career NHL goals, both against the Oilers in Edmonton. All three of Gormley’s career points are against the Oilers this season.
Martin Erat recorded his third multi-point game of the season with a goal and an assist on Tuesday. His last two-point game came on Nov. 14 against the Vancouver Canucks. He also had a goal and an assist against the Oilers on Oct. 15.
Nearly half of the Coyotes’ wins this season are against the Oilers. Arizona has 12 wins this season, five of those are against Edmonton.
Arizona came into the game ranked 29th in the league on the penalty kill, stopping only 73.9 percent of opponents’ power plays. They killed off all six Edmonton power plays on Tuesday night.
Sam Gagner opened the scoring on a seeing-eye shot 1:44 into the game. It was just his fourth goal of the season and second in his last 21 games. He added another goal to his total in the third period.
Tuesday’s game featured three first-period goals — a high number, but not surprising given the fact Edmonton and Arizona are tied for the most first-period goals allowed this season (37).