The Day After 74.0: Oilers come out of Mullett Arena with much-needed two points

Photo credit:© Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
1 year ago
When you see the Arizona Coyotes’ name on the schedule, it’s reasonable to assume that’s an easy two points.
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That was certainly the case earlier in the season, as the Coyotes posted a 7-13-4 record while playing 20 of their first 24 games on the road. Since then, the Coyotes have settled into Mullett Arena, their temporary, 4,600-seat home at Arizona State University.
While the Coyotes are a putrid 7-23-9 on the road this season, they came into Monday’s game against the Oilers with a 20-12-3 record when playing at home. Earlier this month, they won six games in a row playing at Mullett Arena, suggesting there’s a true home-ice advantage hosting opponents in a barn completely different from the others around the league.
Arizona opened the scoring early in the first period but the Oilers battled back and carried a 4-2 lead into the third period. The Coyotes scored a couple of goals in the first few minutes of the final frame to tie the game but a power-play goal from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with eight minutes left on the clock was ultimately the difference as the Oilers skated away with a 5-4 win.

What they said…

“I felt a little different in that building, but we said this morning it didn’t matter where we played the game,” head Coach Jay Woodcroft said. “Tonight it was more about trying to find a way to win. Win the game, get two points in a tough building versus the team that only lost one time in regulation in their last 10. There were moments in the game where we can better, but we found a way to win. That’s a good sign.”
“That team is pesky for sure,” former Coyote Nick Bjugstad said about facing his former team. “You knew they were going to come in the third. They kind of hemmed us in on a few shifts, and we lost our momentum, so that was tough. But you weather the storm and get some big special teams, a big power play goal, and that changes the game. It’s a big two points, and we’ll keep rolling.”
“I never thought I’d play an NHL game here, to be honest,” Zach Hyman said about playing in Mullet Arena. “Going back into college. Yeah, it’s a weird kind of throwback environment.”


Quick notes…

  • Jack Campbell picked up the win on Monday night and became one of three Oilers goalies since the beginning of the 1990s to win five games while allowing at least four goals. He joins Bill Ranford (1990-91 and 1991-92) and Tommy Salo (1990-00) as the other two Oilers goaltenders during that period of time with five wins in a season in games in which they allowed four or more goals. Campbell stopped 29 of 33 shots against the Coyotes and made some big saves for the Oilers when they weren’t tight defensively.
  • Connor McDavid didn’t score his 300th NHL goal against the Coyotes but he picked up an assist on Zach Hyman’s goal in the first period, putting him at 140 points for the season. It’s the first time that a player has scored 140 points in an NHL season since the 1995-96 season when Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr reached 161 and 149 points respectively while playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins. McDavid is the 10th player in NHL history to reach 140 points in a single season, joining Lemieux, Jagr, Wayne Gretzky, Steve Yzerman, Phil Esposito, Bernie Nicholls, Mike Bossy, Pat Lafontaine, and Adam Oates as those who have done so.
  • The L.A. Kings and Vegas Golden Knights were off on Monday night so the only game worth paying attention to on the out-of-town scoreboard was the Seattle Kraken playing the Wild in Minnesota. The Wild cruised to a 5-1 win, so Edmonton’s win in Arizona puts them five points up on the Kraken in the standings, though Seattle has one game in hand. The Oilers and Golden Knights are playing head-to-head on Tuesday while the Kings are in Calgary to play the Flames.

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