The Edmonton Oilers fell behind, then surged ahead, and then fell behind again, and this time for good.
The Oilers initially fell behind the Phoenix Coyotes 3-1 before the midway point of the second period, then fought back to actually take the lead early in the third.
But no sooner had they jumped ahead of the Coyotes in the third period, then they had fallen behind again, thanks in large to a trio of penalties.
The Oilers gave up a pair of power play goals against in the span of one minute and 43 seconds late in the third period and couldn’t mount one final comeback in a 5-4 loss.
And, even though it’s October, this was supposed to be a ‘must-win’ game for the Oilers, who currently have a record 3-8-1, which puts them last in the Pacific Division.
“Extremely frustrating and disappointing. Power-play goals on penalties you just shake your head at,” said Oilers captain Andrew Ference, who was in the penalty box for hooking when the Coyotes tied it at 4-4 in the third period.
Added head coach Dallas Eakins: “It was an interesting game to say the least. It’s getting disheartening to say I like most of our game and come up short.”
The Oilers also announced that winger Tyler Pitlick left the game with a left-knee injury and did not return.
Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.