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Coyotes win wild one vs. Oilers

The SportsXchange

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Even victory isn't turning Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett into a fan of his team's high-scoring games.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored a power-play goal with 7:37 left and the Phoenix Coyotes rallied twice to a 5-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday afternoon.

"In the old days there were high scores because there were a lot of mistakes," said Tippett, whose Coyotes scored 18 goals in their past four games and 40 goals in 12 games overall, second most in the league. "We're playing old-time hockey. If we play loosey-goosey all the time, we'll be a fun team to watch and that will be about it."

Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle had a goal and an assist and Martin Hanzal, Michael Stone and David Schlemko also scored for the Coyotes (7-3-2), who have won three of four and have points in eight of nine games (6-1-2). Radim Vrbata added three assists for Phoenix.

Yandle set up Ekman-Larsson's game winner when dove to block an Edmonton clearing attempt with his glove at the blue line, keeping the play in the Oilers zone alive.

"It was a little bit of shortstop, I'd like to think," Yandle said. "It's an all or nothing play and I'm just glad I was able to keep it in."

Tyler Pitlick scored his first career goal, and David Perron, Ryan Jones and Will Acton also scored for the Oilers (3-8-1), who have dropped two straight.

Pitlick opened the scoring when he took control of the puck in the neutral zone, flipped the puck to himself off the boards and skated past Yandle before scoring from the bottom of the right circle at 9:59 of the first period.

Pitlick left the game shortly after his goal with an undisclosed injury after taking a hit from Schlemko.

Hanzal evened the score at 1 only 47 seconds into the second when Ekman-Larsson's pass from the left circle deflected off the center's right skate and past Edmonton goaltender Jason LaBarbera.

Stone won the puck along the right boards near center ice, skated down the right side and beat LaBarbera with a knuckling shot from near the boards to give Phoenix a 2-1 lead at 5:20 of the second.

Just 27 seconds later, Schlemko made it 3-1 after he took a pass at the top of the right circle from Tim Kennedy following a scrum behind the net.

That goal sent LaBarbera to the bench in favor of Devan Dubnyk, though the change was brief. Just 39 seconds later and after a television timeout, LaBarbera was back in net to finish the period and the game.

"From my eyes, they got the first goal and then the next two goals were shots from the outside that we tipped into the net," said Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins. "I didn't have a timeout and I wanted to have a little chat with our team to get them going back in the right direction."

The move initially paid dividends for the Oilers.

Acton cut Phoenix's lead to 3-2 at 8:03 of the second, slipping a rebound shot between Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith's pads. Perron tied the game with 56.7 seconds left in the second period, taking the last of three quick passes from Justin Schultz and one-timing a shot unto the top right corner from the top of the crease.

Edmonton regained the lead with 13:37 when Jones redirected a shot by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins past Smith. Yandle pulled the Coyotes even at 4 with a power-play goal from the point with 9:20 left before setting up the winner.

"It was a weird one," said LaBarbera. "(There were) a lot of pucks bouncing around, a couple of tips and screen shots. It's tough. Your goalie has to be your best penalty killer and we couldn't do it in the third period there."

"We came up huge this afternoon and that's how we have to play," Ekman-Larsson said.

NOTES: Hanzal leads the Coyotes with 11 points and is tied with Vrbata and Mike Ribiero for the team lead with five goals. ... Coyotes D Rostislav Klesla was scratched with a lower-body injury. ... Oilers G LaBarbera played in 68 games over four seasons with Phoenix before signing as a free agent with Edmonton in July. ... LaBarbera entered the game with a 1-5-1 mark against the Coyotes. ... Oilers RW Pitlick was playing his first career game after being recalled from Oklahoma City of the American Hockey League on Oct. 21. He scored 11 goals in 113 career games in the AHL. ... Eakins said Pitlick will be reevaluated before a decision on a potential roster move would be made. ... Phoenix D Schlemko's goal was his first since April 26. ... Oilers LW Ryan Smyth missed his third straight game with a groin injury but could return by the middle of next week.

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