Tippett says Coyotes ‘not emotionally engaged’ in loss to Oilers

Jan 16, 2017, 10:15 PM
Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) makes the save on Edmonton Oilers' Milan Lucic (27) as Coyot...

Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) makes the save on Edmonton Oilers' Milan Lucic (27) as Coyotes' Alex Goligoski (33) defends during second period NHL hockey action in Edmonton, Alberta, Monday Jan. 16, 2017. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Jujhar Khaira gave the Oilers the lead with his first career goal and Edmonton beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-1 on Monday night for their third straight victory.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl also scored for the Oilers, who have won five of their last seven games. Cam Talbot had 20 saves.

Radim Vrbata scored for the Coyotes, who have lost 11 of their last 13 games. Mike Smith stopped 24 shots.

“That’s as poor as we’ve played in a month,” Tippett told the media. “We’ve been competitive, real competitive here for a month and you could see it from the get-go. I was worried this morning actually at the skate. You could tell there wasn’t a lot of zip in our group.

“When you’re not emotionally engaged in the game … you don’t give yourself a chance.”

Edmonton led 3:34 into the first period after Jordan Eberle dropped it to Nugent-Hopkins on an odd-man rush and sent his ninth of the season past Smith.

Khaira made it 2-0 with eight minutes left in the second period. Mark Letestu fed Kharia a pass, and he chipped it over Smith for his first score.

Connor McDavid retook sole possession of the NHL scoring lead with a pass to Draisaitl a few minutes later. Draisaitl danced around defender Lawson Crouse before going up high for his 17th of the season.

Arizona got one back on the power play with two minutes left in the second when Vrbata was left alone in front and buried his 10th of the season.

NOTES: It was the fourth of five meeting between Edmonton and Arizona this season, with the Coyotes winning the first two before the Oilers came away with a 3-2 victory on Dec. 21, their first regulation time win over Arizona in 26 attempts. … C Alexander Burmistrov played his first game with Arizona since being claimed off waivers from the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 1. … D Adam Larsson returned to the Edmonton lineup after missing a game with a lower body injury. … The Oilers have seven players with more than 100 shots this season, while the Coyotes only have Vrbata in that category.


Coyotes: Travel to Winnipeg to play Wednesday night.

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