EDMONTON — Adin Hill made 39 saves as the Arizona Coyotes came away with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday in preseason play.
Lawson Crouse, Michael Bunting, Michael Grabner and Derek Stepan scored for the Coyotes, who improved to 3-2-0 in exhibition action.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Riley Sheahan replied for the Oilers (2-3-0), who had Connor McDavid back in the lineup for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Edmonton’s final game last season.
Crouse opened the scoring for the Coyotes 12 minutes into the first period when he picked off an errant pass and fired a bullet over the left shoulder of Oilers goalie Mike Smith.
Arizona got an easy goal three minutes into the second period when Adam Larsson gave the puck away in front of Edmonton’s net to give Bunting an shot and make it 2-0.
Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira picked off a pass just four minutes later and went in on a short-handed two-on-one breakaway, dishing the puck to Nugent-Hopkins, who beat Hill for his third goal of the pre-season.
Mikko Koskinen replaced Smith in the Oilers net for the third period.
The Coyotes restored their two-goal edge midway through the third frame on a quick breakout with Vinnie Hinostroza made a nice feed to Grabner, who chipped it over Koskinen.
Edmonton came right back on an unusual goal as Hill’s blocker save on a Josh Archibald shot deflected off the face of Sheahan and into the net.
Arizona went up 4-2 with seven minutes left as a shot deflected off an Oilers defender to a wide-open Stepan, who scored his second in exhibition.
Both teams have two pre-season games remaining with their next games on Thursday, as the Oilers head to Winnipeg to face the Jets and the Coyotes are in Vancouver to take on the Canucks… McDavid was initially uncertain if he would play in any pre-season games, with even the start of the season in doubt. The Oilers captain tore the PCL in his left knee in Edmonton’s season finale against Calgary on April 6 after a collision with Flames defenceman Mark Giordano sent him hard into the net. The 23-year-old had a career-high 116 points in 78 games last season… Former Coyotes goalie Smith, who signed as a free agent this summer with Edmonton after his latest stint in Calgary, made his debut for the Oilers after missing the front end of camp with an illness.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2019.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press