February 23, 2013
Edmonton Oilers beat Phoenix Coyotes in shootout

The Edmonton Oilers celebrate Teemu Hartikainen's (left) goal during the third period against the Phoenix Coyotes at Rexall Place Saturday afternoon. Codie McLachlan/Edmonton Sun

It was a classic case of better late than never — if the Edmonton Oilers hadn’t scored late, they were never going to save this season.

They still might not, with nine in a row on the road coming up, but they at least gave themselves a fighting chance, coming back from 2-0 down to beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in a shootout Saturday afternoon at Rexall Place.

It was a crucial victory for an Oilers team that came into the contest in 13th place, having gone 1-3 through the first four games of the five-game homestand.

And it looked bad early, after Phoenix opened the scoring 5:23 into the first period. Not only were the Coyotes 31-13-5 against Canadian teams, they were a staggering 105-13-15 when scoring first since head coach Dave Tippett took over in 2009.

And when they made it 2-0 on a second period power-play marker from Matthew Lombardi, the writing seemed on the wall.