Ekman-Larsson’s return sparks Coyotes in win over Oilers

Tobias Rieder scored the winning goal in the second period and Oliver Ekman-Larsson returned from injury to spark the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Tobias Rieder scored the winning goal in the second period and Oliver Ekman-Larsson returned from injury to spark the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

The Coyotes extended their point streak to 23 games (19-0-4) over their division rivals with the help of Mike Smith‘s 27 saves on his 34th birthday.

Alex Tanguay and Martin Hanzal also scored, Max Domi added an empty-netter and Ekman-Larsson chipped in with an assist. He was on the ice for all four Arizona goals.

Jordan Eberle and Mark Letestu scored for the Oilers, and Connor McDavid had two assists to extend his point streak to five games. Cam Talbot stopped 27 shots in Edmonton’s second straight loss and 24th defeat in 29 meetings with Arizona.

The Coyotes snapped a two-game skid and finished 4-0-1 against the Oilers this season.

Ekman-Larsson (shoulder) returned from a six-game absence, and the Coyotes sure needed their talented Swede following consecutive shutout losses. He delivered immediately.

Ekman-Larsson's point shot produced a meaty rebound for Tanguay, who tapped the puck past Talbot at 5:38. It was Arizona's first goal in seven periods, ending the longest drought (126:32) of the season. And it gave Ekman-Larsson his first 50-point season.

Eberle tied it less than 4 minutes later on the power play when he knocked in a loose puck in front of the net for his 23rd goal.

Ekman-Larsson was on the ice for Arizona's two second-period goals. He took Eberle's stick to the face for a penalty that led to Hanzal redirecting Michael Stone's shot with the man advantage. Rieder cut to the net and collected Talbot's poke check and pushed the puck in to make it 3-1.

Letestu's one-timer at 17:56 of the second made it 3-2.

The Oilers couldn't tie it, despite a power play midway through the third period, as Smith continued his dominance against Edmonton.

In his fourth game back from abdominal surgery, Smith improved to 13-1-1 against the Oilers in his career and spoiled McDavid's first game in the desert.

The No. 1 pick, whom the Coyotes coveted but missed out on getting in last year's draft lottery, has 28 assists and 42 points.

Ekman-Larsson couldn't help Arizona in its third failed 5-on-3 sequence in three games later in the first. The Coyotes came up empty in 55 seconds and haven't scored in 3:29 of two-man advantage time in the past week.

NOTES: Oilers LW Pat Maroon (illness) was scratched. . Winnipeg's 2-0 victory over Vancouver dropped the Oilers to last place in the Western Conference. . Coyotes captain Shane Doan played in his 1,458th game, passing Glen Wesley for 22nd on the NHL career list.