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Coyotes 4, Oilers 3 (OT)

The SportsXchange

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Keith Yandle is hoping to make the U.S. Olympic team when the rosters are announced Wednesday evening. It would be hard for the Phoenix defenseman to make a stronger last-minute case than he did on New Year's Eve.

Yandle set up winger Mikkel Boedker's game-tying goal with one minute and 10 seconds remaining in regulation, then buried the game-winner with 6.5 second left in overtime as the Coyotes rallied to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Tuesday at Jobing.com Arena.

It was the sixth straight overtime game for Phoenix, which set a franchise record.

"We don't mind it," Yandle said. "We like coming from behind to win."

Phoenix jumped out to a 1-0 lead on the power play when Yandle covered for his own gaffe by intercepting a clearing pass, dodging defenders and ripping a low shot past the blocker side of Edmonton goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov 10:59 into the first period.

The Oilers evened the game at 1 with just over a minute left in the period when center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins somehow knocked a puck between his own legs with his back to the Phoenix net. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith never saw the shot and it slipped between his legs.

Edmonton widened its lead to 3-1 with a pair of goals less than seven minutes into the second period. Forward David Perron scored his 17th goal of the season on forward Taylor Hall's second assist of the night. Defenseman Justin Schultz then took a feed from Hall in the deep slot and snapped a shot through Smith's pads for a 3-1 lead.

That was all Coyotes coach Dave Tippett needed to see before switching goalies to backup Thomas Greiss. Smith was victimized by some poor defensive zone coverage, but he also allowed three goals on just 10 shots.

Phoenix winger Tim Kennedy pulled the Coyotes within 3-2 at the 12:05 mark of the second period when he banked a shot off Bryzgalov's leg from behind the end line and into the net.

With the Coyotes applying steady pressure in the third period, Yandle finally set up the equalizer by drawing the defense and Bryzgalov to him before slipping the puck to Boedker for an easy tap-in.

He then beat Bryzgalov on a breakaway over the shoulder to earn the Coyotes two points.

NOTES: Coyotes GM Don Maloney said the club is close to terminating RW Gilbert Brule's contract after he refused a re-assignment to the AHL. ... The Coyotes play 14 of their final 20 games before the Olympic break at Jobing.com Arena. ... After being recalled from Portland of the AHL on Monday, Coyotes RW Chris Brown was a scratch Tuesday. ... The Coyotes are tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for the NHL lead for most players with 10 or more goals (six). ... Oilers G Ilya Bryzgalov, who started Tuesday, spent almost four seasons with the Coyotes after being claimed off waivers from Anaheim in November of 2007. ... After registering three assists in the game's first 27 minutes, Oilers LW Taylor Hall recorded multiple-point games in four of his last six games.
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