McLeod has two targets, help as Edmonton Oilers earn 6-1 win over Arizona Coyotes

EDMONTON — Going back to the drawing board produced a much more positive picture for Ryan McLeod and the Edmonton Oilers.

McLeod had two goal and an assist to lead Edmonton to a 6-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night. Two nights earlier, the Oilers lost a 9-5 decision to the rival Calgary Flames.

“As a group, we were pretty motivated after that last game,” McLeod said. “Everyone was pretty frustrated and we came out pretty motivated.

“It was good to see our response.”

Connor McDavid, Warren Foegele, Zach Hyman and Leon Draisaitl also scored for the Oilers (37-25-5). who’ve won seven straight on home ice.

“It was really important that we learned a lesson from our last game,” said Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen, who made 31 saves. “We really wanted to bounce back.

“It was an embarrassing game Saturday and I think we got exactly the result that we needed. Not just the result, but the way we played. We didn’t give any odd-man rushes. We played well. That was the most important thing, with the two points.”

Clayton Keller replied for the Coyotes (20-41-5), who’ve dropped six straight games and were officially eliminated from playoff contention.

“It’s a tough schedule, we know that and we’re pretty banged up right now,” said Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny. “Mentally we were a little bit tired and a little bit off.

“We had a number of turnovers tonight and our execution was not sharp and making plays was tough. We had a bad game.”

Edmonton scored on its first shot of the game four minutes into the opening period. Jesse Puljujarvi found McDavid alone in front and he was able to wait for Coyotes goalie Karel Vejmelka to go down before lifting a backhand into the net for his 36th of the season.

The Oilers made it 2-0 midway though the first when McLeod banked a shot from behind the net off of Vejmelka and in.

Arizona countered on the power play with four minutes left in the first as Keller’s pass attempt caromed off Hyman and past Koskinen.

Edmonton regained its two-goal lead on a power play of its own early in the second. Kailer Yamamoto hit McLeod coming in with speed and he split the defenders and scored his second of the game and eighth of the season.

The Oilers added to their lead with seven-and-a-half minutes left in the second as a big rebound came out to Foegele in the slot and he made no mistake.

Hyman made up for the goal that went in off him earlier by scoring his 22nd of the season off another big rebound.

Josef Korenar came out to start the third in the Arizona net.

After killing off three straight power plays _ all penalties taken by Evander Kane, who took eight minutes worth in a less than a nine-minute span _ the Oilers were rewarded midway through the third. Puljujarvi made another nice pass to give Draisaitl an easy tap-in at the side of the net for his 48th goal, tying Toronto’s Auston Matthews for the league lead.

Both teams return to action Wednesday. The Oilers host the Los Angeles Kings while the Coyotes return home to face the San Jose Sharks.

Notes: It was the third and final meeting between the two teams, with the Oilers winning the previous two games in Arizona by 5-1 and 5-3 scores… Arizona was missing a bevy of players in Conor Timmins (knee), Andrew Ladd (lower body), Liam O’Brien (upper body), Antoine Roussel (lower body), Jakob Chychrun (lower body) and Christian Fischer (lower body)… Out for the Oilers was defenseman Kris Russell, who entered COVID protocol Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2022.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press

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