EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers will live to fight another day after coming back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in a shootout Saturday afternoon at Rexall Place.
It was a must-win game for an Oilers team whose season was hanging by a thread, sitting in 13th place, having lost three of the first four games of their five-game homestand and with a nine-game road trip up next.
All of the statistical evidence pointed to a Phoenix win: The Coyotes were 31-13-5 against Canadian teams and a staggering 105-13-15 when scoring first since coach Dave Tippett took over in 2009.
So when they scored the first two at Rexall Place, the writing seemed on the wall.
The Oilers fought back to tie it midway through the third period on Teemu Hartikainen's power-play goal and got it to overtime, then the shootout, where Sam Gagner and Jorden Eberle scored and netminder Nikolai Khabibulin held the fort.
The visitors made it 1-0 on Kyle Chipchura's goal at 5:23 of the first period and went up 2-0 on Matthew Lombardi's goal at the end of a four-minute Phoenix power play.
The Oilers were showing very little life until Eberle scored from close range to cut the deficit to 2-1 and give the desperate Oilers a little hope heading into the third period.
Phoenix is right back at it Sunday in Calgary before lacing up again Monday in Vancouver to complete a stretch of three road games in four days.
NOTES: Oilers winger Taylor Hall was suspended two games for his low and late hit on Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck. ... LW Ryan Jones, who had been out all season after being hit in the eye with a puck during a practice session during the lockout, made his return to the lineup Saturday. ... The Coyotes are 31-13-5 against Canadian teams since the start of the 2009 season. ... Coyotes captain Shane Doan, with 322 goals, is one goal away from tying Keith Tkachuk for second place on the franchise's all-time list. ... Phoenix LW Raffi Torres played his 600th NHL game. ... After scoring five goals in his first eight games, rookie Nail Yakupov of Edmonton is on a nine-game scoring drought, is minus-9 and is now playing on the fourth line.