Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle lift Oilers over Coyotes


EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) The Edmonton Oilers are hoping a new year brings renewed life in the playoff hunt. Saturday was a good start.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in the third round of the shootout, Jordan Eberle had two goals in regulation and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 on Saturday to end a four-game losing streak.

Taylor Hall also scored to help the Oilers win for the eighth time in their last 10 home games.

“After Christmas, we didn’t take advantage of the games against teams in our division,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “It was great to see us stick with it after getting down by a goal in the third. We really wanted to come back and get that one and played with some desperation tonight.”

Cam Talbot made 31 saves and stopped two of three attempts in the shootout for Edmonton. He said the Oilers hope the win can bring some momentum for a 2016 playoff push.

“We talked about that after our last game, to let the end of December go and to focus on a new day, a new year here,” he said. “I think we got off to a good start tonight.”

Steve Downie, Brad Richardson and Anthony Duclair scored for the Coyotes, but Arizona has lost two of its past three.

Duclair’s goal put Arizona up 3-2 5:51 into the third period off a beautiful cross-ice saucer pass from Max Domi during a 2-on-1. Duclair smacked the puck just as it fell down to ice level and shot it past Talbot.

Eberle tied it with his second goal with 5:52 left. It was his 300th NHL point.

“It was a tight game, tight game,” Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. “We missed an assignment in our own end and gave them a chance to tie it up, and then it was a tight game. Some chances here and there. Thirteen seconds left we had a real good chance. But you get to the shootout, anything can happen.”

The Oilers had the best chances in overtime, including a post hit by Nugent-Hopkins.

Arizona got on the board 7 minutes into the opening period when Jordan Martinook sent a pass through a defender’s legs from behind the net to Downie, who beat Talbot five-hole.

Edmonton tied it a minute later. Leon Draisaitl sent a no-look backhand feed in front to Hall, and he redirected it past Coyotes starter goalie Louis Domingue for his 16th of the season.

The Oilers went up 2-1 on the power play with 8 minutes left in the first when Mark Letestu found Eberle in a scramble in front and Eberle picked the top corner.

Richardson tied it with 5:30 left in the second by taking a few whacks at a puck in the crease, eventually scooting one under Talbot.

NOTES: Arizona winger John Scott was a healthy scratch the same day it was announced he’d been voted captain for the Pacific Division at the All-Star game despite only recording an assist in 11 games. … The Coyotes beat the Oilers 4-1 in their only previous meeting this season. Arizona swept the five-game series last season and came into the game with an 11-1 record in their previous 12 contests against Edmonton. … The Oilers were still without Connor McDavid (collarbone), Nail Yakupov (ankle), Oscar Klefbom (finger), Andrew Ference (undisclosed) and Iiro Pakarinen (upper body). … Out for the Coyotes were goalie Mike Smith (lower body), Joe Vitale (face), Martin Hanzal (upper body) and Boyd Gordon (head). … Both teams return to the ice on Monday night. The Coyotes travel to Vancouver and the Oilers host Carolina.