EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)—Edmonton native Derek Morris gave Wayne Gretzky a victory over the team he led to four Stanley Cup titles.
Morris scored a power-play goal one minute into overtime and Oleg Saprykin had two goals in the Phoenix Coyotes’ 4-3 win over the Oilers on Tuesday, a night Gretzky started by joining fellow Hall of Famer Paul Coffey at center ice as the latter’s Edmonton jersey was retired.
“Sweet to get the win here,” Morris said. “It was a special night.”
It was Gretzky’s first game as an NHL coach in Edmonton since he captained the Oilers to the four Stanley Cups in eight seasons in the 1980s.
“We got a little bit lucky with the shot in overtime but it was hard-fought victory for us,” Gretzky said.
Michael Peca scored his first goal as an Oiler, while Igor Ulanov and Marty Reasoner also scored for Edmonton, which lost a fourth straight game before a sellout crowd of 16,839 at Rexall Place after erasing a 3-1 deficit early in the third to force overtime.
“The ceremony itself was inspiring,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said of the salute to Coffey’s seven seasons and three Stanley Cups with Edmonton. “But it was a debacle from the outset.”
Saprykin scored two backhanded goals against goaltender Jussi Markannen in a 2:09 span of the first period for the Coyotes.
“I thought the first 30 minutes we played really solid hockey,” Gretzky said.
Phoenix captain Shane Doan put a blast past Markkanen from the slot early in the third period for a 3-1 lead.
“We certainly got off to a good start and they kept scrapping,” said Joseph, who played in Edmonton for 2 1/2 seasons from 1995-97. “Give them credit. They just kept battling back, battling back, battling back.”
Peca scored in the third period off a rebound following an end-to-end rush by defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron, and Reasoner earned his 100th NHL point on a power-play goal just over three minutes later.
Ulanov scored off a wrist shot from the high slot in the second period for the Oilers, who all wore a small No. 7 on their jerseys in honor of Coffey.
The Oilers took just two shots in opening nine minutes.
The Coyotes built an early 22-10 shot advantage and finished 2-for-7 on the power play. The Oilers were 1-for-6 with the man advantage.
Edmonton native and former Oiler Mike Comrie, a center for the Coyotes, was booed each time he touched the puck.
“It’s always fun playing in this building whether you’re playing for Edmonton or against them,” Comrie said. “It’s always exciting because the fans are into it.”
Oilers F Todd Harvey remained sidelined with high ankle sprain. … Coyotes D Denis Gauthier will be out until mid-November with fractured right pinkie. … There are 14 Canadians on both the Oilers and Coyotes rosters. … With one more victory, Joseph will become the ninth goaltender to reach 400 wins. Joseph remains third among active goaltenders, behind Toronto’s Ed Belfour (437) and New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur (406).