The Arizona Coyotes continue to impress in the early stages of the season.
Derek Stepan scored in overtime as the Coyotes came away with a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, improving to 8-2-0 in their past 10 games.
Stepan took a feed from Nick Schmaltz and picked the corner 2:01 into the extra period.
“I think our group has been doing that [grinding] all year, it’s a big part of our group is our ability to bounce back, whether it be game to game or even in game,” Stepan said of Arizona’s mental resilience after the Oilers tied it up late. “Maybe when we don’t have our ‘A’ stuff, we’re able to have a push back within a few minutes.”
Michael Grabner and Carl Soderberg also scored for the Coyotes (9-4-1), who have won four of their last five outings.
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“It was not a great start them scoring right away, but back-to-backs you have to rely on all the lines and everyone was contributing and that’s a really tough line to play against and they have last change,” said Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper, who made 26 saves. “I thought everyone, whoever was out there did a great job.”
Connor McDavid and Gaetan Haas responded for the Oilers (10-4-2), who had a two-game winning streak snapped.
“We know we could have been a little bit better at the beginning of the game, but we found a way to get that second goal in the third,” said Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse. “Sure, we’ve been doing it a little too often where we have to find ways at the end of the game to win or force overtime, but over the course of 82 games it’s going to happen. It just so happens that it happened in a cluster at the beginning of the year.”
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The Oilers only needed 91 seconds to get on the scoreboard as McDavid had a highlight-reel goal, undressing Coyotes defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and blowing past Kuemper to record his seventh goal of the season.
Grabner beat Oilers starter Mikko Koskinen stick side with a wrist shot to tie the game 1-1 for Arizona 3:30 into the first period.
Soderberg took advantage of a turnover by Edmonton defender Joel Persson to make it 2-1 for the Coyotes before the midway mark of the game, beating Koskinen high to the glove side.
Haas tied it up with 4:41 left in the third period. He tipped a Matt Benning shot past Kuemper for his first career NHL goal, forcing overtime.
“It’s good that we score this goal, and we get a point,” said the 27-year-old Swiss centre, playing his first season in the NHL. “Maybe in the end it’s the point we need. I think it’s a good point.”
The Coyotes are in Calgary to face the Flames on Tuesday while the Oilers remain home to take on the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.