GDT: Oilers @ Coyotes - Wed. Dec. 21 2016 at 9:30 PM ET

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GDT: Oilers @ Coyotes - Wed. Dec. 21 2016 at 9:30 PM ET

Postby CBL on Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:48 am

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TV: SNW / FS A Plus
Radio: CHED / ESPN Phoenix 620 AM

AP wrote:Coyotes, Smith look to continue mastery of Oilers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- One day, Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett will admit that he owns the Edmonton Oilers' playbook.

How else to explain why Tippett owns the Oilers?

Heading into Wednesday's meeting at Gila River Arena -- the third of the season between these teams -- Tippett owns a 25-game point streak against Edmonton and is 21-0-4 in that span. The last time the Oilers beat the Coyotes in regulation was Jan. 25, 2011.

"There's nothing to it," said Tippett, who is 26-2-4 against Edmonton since he became the Coyotes coach before the 2009-10 season. "It's different years, different players. Move on."

One part of the Coyotes' success against the Oilers that has been a constant is goalie Mike Smith, who is 15-1-1 with .928 save percentage and a 2.24 goals against average versus Edmonton in his career.

"He gets into a roll and then when he does and he feels really good, the further he gets into a game and more confident he is, the better he plays," said Edmonton coach Todd McLellan, who is in only his second season with the Oilers.

"We're going to have to start well and find ways to beat him with the old cliches of traffic and volume shooting and screens and deflections. It's nothing that this group hasn't talked about the 20 other times we've played him. He just seems to step up against us."

Oilers fans probably assumed that with center Connor McDavid in the fold and the Coyotes in the early stages of a rebuild, things would be different this season. Instead, Arizona defeated the Oilers 3-2, in a shootout Nov. 25 in Edmonton and 2-1 on Nov. 27 in Glendale despite being outshot 42-23.

"They seem to like to play against us and they've had success against us in the past so we've got to break out of that," Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. "We've played some really good teams in the past little while and played really well against them so we've got to take that same mentality into (Wednesday).

"It's not just about beating Arizona. We want to get points in any game we can."

Edmonton got some bad news when right wing Tyler Pitlick left the team to fly back to Edmonton on Tuesday after leaving Monday's game in St Louis with an undisclosed injury.

"Usually if a player is on a flight to go back and see doctors it's not a real good thing but we've got our fingers crossed," McLellan said, noting Pitlick's hard-luck history of injuries. "I really felt for him last night. He was emotional. He had such a positive impact on our team and is just finding his way into the league now permanently. To have that happen is tough for the young man."

Oilers right wing Iiro Pakarinen (knee), defenseman Mark Fayne (leg) and defenseman Andrew Ference (hip) are on injured reserve. Coyotes center Brad Richardson (broken right tibia and fibula) and left wing Max Domi (hand) are out indefinitely.

Cam Talbot is expected to start in goal for Edmonton. Smith is expected to go for Arizona, presenting the Oilers with the same old challenge.

"We've got to try and solve our issues with this Arizona team," McLellan said. "Hopefully, we have a performance that allows us to get over that hump."
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