GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Headed for a last-place finish in the Western Conference, the Edmonton Oilers are enjoying the chance to play spoilers.
Sam Gagner got the tying goal with 40.4 seconds to play in regulation, then scored the winner in the fourth round of the shootout to lift the Oilers to a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday night.
"It's nice to get rewarded there," Gagner said of the tying goal. "You have to learn to find ways to win, especially for us down the stretch here."
It was a tough loss for the Coyotes, who are vying for the last wild-card spot in the West. Phoenix moved one point ahead of ninth-place Dallas, but the Stars have two games in hand.
"It's not about being so much the spoiler. It's fun to be a part of a game that means something," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "We're playing teams that these games are huge for them and we understand. It's fun and it's challenging to be in games that really mean something to the other team and I was very interested in how our guys were going to respond."
Coyotes coach Dave Tippett compared the loss to an overtime playoff defeat.
"The way we gave up the second goal, that's demoralizing, but it's no time to hang your head," he said.
Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz also scored and Ben Scrivens stopped 24 shots through overtime.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the tying goal for the Coyotes in the second period, and Kyle Chipchura put them ahead with 7:18 left in the third. Thomas Greiss also stopped 24 shots for Phoenix.
Gagner scored on a deflection, backhanding the puck into the net after a shot from behind the goal by teammate Jordan Eberle to force overtime. Eberle had two assists.
Schultz gave his team the early lead in the final minute of the first period. He took a centering pass from Eberle and fired a wrist shot that bounced on the ice and over Greiss' outstretched glove hand.
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