Arizona Coyotes fall in shootout to McDavid, 1st-place Edmonton
GLENDALE, Ariz. — It was a third-period, game-tying Edmonton Oilers goal by Markus Granlund that forced the Arizona Coyotes’ game to overtime on Sunday night. Edmonton bested Arizona in the shootout and walked away with two points in the standings.
The 4-3 final score included Connor McDavid’s shootout-deciding goal and his 29th assist, good for the second most in the NHL behind his teammate Leon Draisaitl. Arizona got just a point in the standings against its Pacific Division rival, which now leads the Coyotes by four points for first place in the division.
“To me, it’s just that goal,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said of Granlund’s tying goal. “You’ve just got to take a body in front. You can’t puck-watch. Especially the last part of the game.”
Granlund drove to the net and put a shot on Darcy Kuemper, creating a loose puck in front. Coyotes defensemen Jordan Oesterle and Ilya Lyubushkin weren’t able to tie up Granlund, who scored on his own rebound with 6:48 remaining.
“I liked our third period until the goal, really. Even on the goal, it’s a play that we should defend or we defend 99% of the time,” Alex Goligoski said. “So I didn’t think we were sitting on our heels or anything. We had a lot of rushes that had chances to put that game away, too. So they got the one, and we get to overtime, anything can happen.”
Apart from that, the Coyotes led 3-2 going into the third period. Arizona came back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits and had two quick goals just 1:33 apart in the second period that set them up for a clear path to win the game.
The late Oilers goal spoiled that.
“We had our chances to make it 4-2,” Tocchet said. ” We need to make that play to make it 4-2.”
The game’s scoring started with McDavid’s assist, which sent a puck to Draisaitl and then over to James Neal for a power play goal on the doorstep. Arizona answered back, though, with a power play goal of its own. The Coyotes’ man advantage was clicking smoothly and tied up the game 1-1.
That Coyotes power play goal was a feed from Nick Schmaltz to Carl Soderberg. It was the seventh goal of the season for Soderberg, who took sole possession of second place on the Coyotes in goals, behind Conor Garland (10). Schmaltz’s assist was his team-leading 15th of the year. Arizona’s power play finished 1-for-2.
In the second period, the Oilers had all the momentum for most of the first 10 minutes and scored to make it 2-1 on a goal by Alex Chiasson.
But a switch seemed to flip as the Coyotes scored two goals in quick succession. It first was a goal by Christian Fischer, his third of the season, assisted nicely by Michael Grabner. Then, Vinnie Hinostroza scored his fourth of the year on a sharp angle shot from a rebound.
That made it 3-2 Coyotes.
“The building’s starting to get loud and we could feel it when we get those back-to-back goals,” Fischer said. “That’s just something we’ve got to keep working on. When we find those momentum swings and those game swings, we’ve got to ride it.”
Granlund scored in the third period, and overtime saw Edmonton nearly score on multiple quality setups. Arizona forced a shootout, and McDavid’s goal was the only one for either team.
“I don’t think we should be that happy about the game,” Hinostroza said. “We had a goal lead late in the third, and for some reason, recently when we’re up one goal, we tend to let the other team back into it. So it’s something we’re going to have to clean up.”
— Kuemper made 34 saves as the Coyotes were out-shot 37-30. Mikko Koskinen was in net for the Oilers, instead of former Coyotes goalie Mike Smith.
— Speaking of former Coyotes, head coach Dave Tippett was behind the bench for the Oilers. It was the first time Tippett has coached as a visitor at Gila River Arena since his departure from the franchise. With the Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, Tippett coached for eight seasons and led the team to the playoffs three times.
— Sunday was the Coyotes’ second game against Edmonton this season. Both games went beyond regulation time.
— Arizona is 3-for-8 (37.5%) on the power play in the last three games.
— Up next on the schedule: The Coyotes get two days off before hosting the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night. From there, they play a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday, the first one in Vegas and the second one at home against San Jose.