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Yandle leads Coyotes to 5-4 win over Oilers

Updated at: 10/26/2013 10:06 PM
By JOHN MARSHALL

(AP) GLENDALE, Ariz. - Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored on a power play in the third period after Keith Yandle made a spectacular play to keep the puck in the zone, lifting the Phoenix Coyotes to a 5-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

Phoenix scored three goals in the first six minutes of the second period against former teammate Jason LaBarbera to go up 3-1, but Edmonton rallied to take the lead with three goals spanning the second and third periods.

Ekman-Larsson set up Yandle for the tying goal midway through the third with his second assist, then beat LaBarbera with a shot from the point after Yandle dove to keep the puck in Edmonton’s zone.

Michael Stone and David Schlemko scored for the Coyotes, who had four goals and three assists from their defensemen. Martin Hanzal added his third goal in two games, and Radim Vrbata had three assists.

Ryan Jones, David Perron, Will Acton and Tyler Pitlick scored for the Oilers. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added two assists.

The defensive-minded Coyotes had trouble in their own end in Los Angeles on Thursday, giving up four goals in the first period and three more after rallying to tie it 4-4.

Phoenix gave up a power-play goal 42 seconds into that game and got off to another slow start against the Oilers, though not quite as bad.

With neither team generating many good chances, Edmonton scored midway through the first period when Pitlick whiffed on a shot from along the right boards, quickly shot again and slipped the puck between Mike Smith’s pads for his first NHL goal.

The Coyotes snapped to life at the start of the second period, finishing off a penalty and scoring 47 seconds in, when a centering pass by Ekman-Larsson went off Hanzal’s right skate past LaBarbera.

That triggered a flurry of goals.

Stone scored his second of the season on a shot from the right circle _ a direct shot that LaBarbera couldn’t handle. Schlemko followed up 27 seconds later with a shot from the left circle that appeared to hit an Edmonton player before going past LaBarbera for a 3-1 lead.

LaBarbera swatted the puck down the ice in disgust, then slammed his stick on the ice as he headed to the bench after being pulled.

But the Oilers weren’t done _ and neither was LaBarbera.

He returned after 39 seconds, and the Oilers pulled within 3-2 when Ben Eager took a shot from the right circle, and Acton fought off a defender to punch the rebound between Smith’s pads. Edmonton tied it with 56 seconds left in the period on a nifty sequence of tic-tac-toe passing, Jeff Schultz to Jordan Eberle to Perron just outside the crease.

The Oilers kept up the pressure in the third and went up 4-3 midway through when Jones redirected Nugent-Hopkins’ shot from the point past Smith.

Phoenix answered a few minutes later with Yandle sending a shot from near the blue line that LaBarbera had trouble seeing through traffic on a power play.

Yandle made the play of the game after that, setting up Ekman-Larsson’s game-winner by laying out to stop the puck at the blue line.

NOTES: This was the first of five games between the Oilers and Coyotes, who became division rivals after the NHL’s realignment. ... Phoenix played without D Rustislav Klesla (lower body) and F Lauri Korpikoski (upper body). F Jeff Halpern didn’t return after sustaining an upper-body injury in the first period. ... Edmonton F Ryan Smyth missed his third straight game with a groin injury.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)