Final

Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Monday, October 23rd
Coyotes2Final
Oilers5
Game 2: Thursday, October 26th
Oilers2Final
Coyotes6
Game 3: Thursday, December 21st
Oilers3Final
Coyotes2
Game 4: Tuesday, February 27th
Coyotes3Final
Oilers0

Oilers 3

(18-14-2, 38 pts)

Coyotes 2

(12-20-1, 25 pts)

9:00 PM ET, December 21, 2006

Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Arizona

1 2 3 T
EDM 1 1 13
ARI 0 1 12

P. Sykora (Oilers - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

F. Sjostrom (Coyotes - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

A. Hemsky (Oilers - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Sykora's goal with 1:14 left lifts Oilers over Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Petr Sykora needed nearly 59 minutes to solve Phoenix goalie Curtis Joseph.

Sykora, who took a game-high six shots, scored with 1:14 remaining to lift the Edmonton Oilers past the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-2 Thursday night. He took a backhanded pass from Shawn Horcoff in stride at the inside edge of the right faceoff circle and beat Joseph with a quick wrist shot.

"I had pretty much an open shot from the slot," Sykora said. "I wasn't trying for any corners. I was trying to go five-hole anywhere on the ice and it went in. Cujo was outstanding tonight. I felt he really kept them in the game."

Jarret Stoll and Ales Hemsky also scored for the Oilers, who snapped a two-game losing streak and won for just the second time in six games (2-4-0).

Hemsky set up the winning goal when he battled past three skaters to bring the puck into the Phoenix zone before passing off to Horcoff.

"Every time he touched the puck in the third period you knew something was going to happen," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said.

Yanic Perreault and Owen Nolan each scored and Ladislav Nagy got his team-high 20th assist for the Coyotes, who have lost five of six (1-4-1).

Phoenix tied the game earlier in the third period on its second 5-on-3 power play. Perrault bounced an apparent pass from the bottom of the left faceoff circle off defenseman Jason Smith's leg and past Jussi Markkanen to tie the game with 16:24 remaining.

The goal was Phoenix's only score on eight attempts against the league's top-rated penalty kill.

"Our power play is just killing us," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "It's the difference in every game. It is what it is. That's the group we have. They've got to produce. I'm not trying to point fingers at players but the bottom line is our power play is horrendous. We had ample opportunities and generated nothing."

Nolan made it 2-1 at 10:12 of the second period, racing behind the Edmonton defense to corral a long clearing pass around the boards by Keith Ballard. Nolan poked the puck ahead, faked Markkanen to the ice with a forehand feint and backhanded the puck under the goalie for his third short-handed goal of the season.

Stoll took advantage of a fortuitous bounce off the end boards to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead late in the first period.

Marty Reasoner dumped the puck into the Phoenix zone and Joseph skated behind the net to play it only to watch it hit a seam in the boards and roll toward the back of the net. Stoll skated in quickly and tucked the puck into the net with 10.7 seconds left in the first.

Hemsky made it 2-0 at 7:47 of the second when he took a pass from Toby Petersen, took one stride and rifled a sharp wrist shot over Joseph's blocker.

The Oilers twice rang shots off the posts. Marc-Andre Bergeron bounced a shot off the inside of the left post at 9:06 of the first and Petersen hit the crossbar at 12:38 of the second.

Markkanen made 21 saves in his first start since Dec. 6.

"I will take every minute of ice time I can get," Markkanen said. "It's good to play when it really means something."

Game notes


Sykora has three goals and three assists in three games against Phoenix this season. ... The victory was the Oilers' 999th in 27 NHL seasons. ... Joseph was making his first appearance in nine days and first start since Dec. 11. ... Stoll's short-handed goal was Edmonton's second this season. ... Coyotes D Ed Jovanovski missed his first game of the season with a groin injury. Jovanovski played through the injury until missing three straight days of practice this week. ... Matt Jones, who was sent to San Antonio of the American Hockey League on Tuesday, was recalled Wednesday on an emergency basis to take Jovanovski's place. ... Phoenix C Steven Reinprecht participated in Thursday's morning skate, his first since fracturing his right clavicle on Oct. 14.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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