EDMONTON — Several lengthy goalless droughts came to an end in Edmonton on Monday.
Oscar Klefbom's first goal in 34 games came in overtime as the Edmonton Oilers earned a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. It was Klefbom's first goal since Dec. 9.
"Obviously, I have had opportunities in a lot of games where I didn't execute and finish," Klefbom said of his fourth goal of the season, set up by Connor McDavid, after the Oilers surrendered a two-goal lead in the third period.
"It was very nice to score the overtime winner. But we have to be smarter and better when we have leads like this. To be up by two goals here at home, it's not good enough to end up in overtime."
Jujhar Khaira, Milan Lucic and Jesse Puljujarvi also scored for the Oilers (28-34-4) who snapped a three-game losing skid. Lucic's goal was his first since Dec. 23 — a goalless streak that lasted 29 games.
"I think it was pretty evident how frustrated I was," he said. "Slamming doors a bunch of times, breaking sticks, you name it. It was a tough stretch, that's for sure.
"It was nice to have one finally go in. It was one of those ones where you aren't thinking and just shoot it as hard as you can and it finds a way in just inside the post."
Jason Demers, Christian Dvorak and Niklas Hjalmarsson replied for the Coyotes (20-34-11) who had a two-game winning streak come to an end.
"I think we're pretty resilient group and it's good to know that if we're down, we can always come back," Dvorak said.
Arizona got a bit of a break to get the game's first goal three-and-a-half minutes into the first period when a Demers passing attempt went off defender Kris Russell's heel and caromed past Oilers goalie Cam Talbot.
Khaira's short-handed goal tied it 1-1 eight minutes into the game. He followed up a Ryan Strome shot and tapped the rebound past Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper.
The Oilers took the lead with 6:39 remaining in the first when Lucic scored on a slapshot for his 10th.
Edmonton made it 3-1 with a power-play goal with three minutes to play in the first when Puljujarvi picked the top corner for his 11th of the season.
There was no scoring in the second period.
The Coyotes pulled back within a goal just past the midpoint of the third period after an Edmonton giveaway allowed Dvorak to tuck in the puck from the doorstep.
Arizona tied the game with 4:39 left in the third as Hjalmarsson scored during a mad scramble to send the game to extra time, his first goal in 70 games, dating back to Jan. 8, 2017.
"I think since the New Year we've been playing great, we've been getting a lot of points and we're just going to try to keep it going here with however many games are left," Hjalmarsson said.
The Coyotes remain on the road for their next game in Vancouver on Wednesday. The Oilers are off until Thursday, when they play host to the New York Islanders.
Notes: It was the final of four meetings between the two teams this season, with Edmonton winning two of the previous three… Oilers defenceman Adam Larsson returned from attending his father's funeral in Sweden, but was a healthy scratch with rookie Ethan Bear playing in his third NHL game… Coyotes defenceman Alex Goligoski did not make the trip, staying in Arizona with his wife, who is expecting the birth of their second child.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press