EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)—Out of the playoff picture a month ago, Edmonton has crawled back into the postseason chase.
Curtis Glencross scored two third-period goals and the Edmonton Oilers continued their push for a playoff spot, winning their third in a row with an 8-4 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night.
“We were in a pretty bad situation not too long ago and made a commitment to each other and everybody has followed through with it,” Oilers assistant captain Steve Staios said. “We weren’t feeling that good about how we were playing but no one went into panic mode. We had confidence that if we got back to our game that we could make a run.”
It was the 10th win in the last 12 games for the Oilers (37-32-5) who moved into sole possession of 10th place in the Western Conference, one point back of ninth-place Nashville and just five points back of eighth-place co-holders Vancouver, Calgary and Colorado.
“We’re starting to build more confidence here and a lot of guys have been really stepping up when we need it,” Gagner said. “These are all big games down the stretch and we need that from everybody.”
“When you take those two big losses, it’s looking dismal for the playoffs, but we have to leave this behind us up here and get back to Phoenix,” Winnik said. “I don’t think it’s a lack of effort or intensity on anyone’s behalf or a lack of caring. We’re just having mental letdowns at the wrong times.”
Phoenix (36-33-5) has now lost three in a row and five of its last seven and remained seven points back of the a playoff spot.
Edmonton held a 3-2 lead after the first period after scoring two late power-play goals.
The Oilers each scored a goal in the second period as Roloson scored with 1:03 left to make it 4-3. Doan picked up an assist on the play, giving him a career-high 69 points on the season.
The Coyotes tied the game 4 minutes into the third period on the power play as Mueller’s soft shot from the side of the net bounced around in Roloson’s equipment before skittering across the goal-line.
But Edmonton regained the advantage three minutes later on another power play after a nice tic-tac-toe passing play between Hemsky, Gagner and finally Penner who chipped the puck past Tellqvist to make it 5-4.
Two minutes later they had restored their two-goal cushion, as Glencross, who had missed on three glorious opportunities earlier in the game, finally made good, picking up a puck that had deflected off of Matt Jones in front of the net and sliding it home.
Three minutes later Glencross connected again getting three whacks at the puck before finally putting it through the goaltender’s legs to make it 7-4, the most goals the Oilers have scored in a game this season.
They went one goal further with 3:04 remaining as Stoll made a desperate lunge to get the puck out while killing a penalty and the puck seemed to have a mind of its own, inching all the way into the empty Phoenix net, with Tellqvist on the bench for an extra attacker.
: Edmonton swept the season series between the teams 4-0. … The Oilers reached a rather dubious milestone on Tuesday, going over 300 man-games lost to injury. With Ethan Moreau, Sheldon Souray, Shawn Horcoff and Raffi Torres out for the season and Geoff Sanderson nursing a sore back, the Oilers reached 301 games lost. … Roloson, who backed up Mathieu Garon for 17 straight games, got his third straight start. … Coyotes captain Doan now has 69 points through 74 games, moving past his career high in points of 68 set in 2003-04.