Phoenix Coyotes Win Another One in Shootout; Power Play Still Atrocious; Next Up: Nashville on Wednesday

The Phoenix Coyotes have the best shootout record in the NHL, which is a good thing considering their power play sucks to high hell.

The Coyotes beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Saturday night after an eight-round shootout and nine unsuccessful Phoenix power plays that should have prevented the game from ever leaving regulation.

The most laughable of the Coyotes' nine power plays came early in the third period.

Edmonton's Andrew Cogliano was sent to the penalty box for slashing Martin Hanzal about seven minutes into the period.

Ryan Whitney, the Oilers 6-feet-4 inch defensive goon, followed Cogliano into the penalty box about 30 seconds later, after he was called for a cross-check against Matthew Lombardi.

With a two-man Coyotes advantage, the unthinkable happened: The Oilers were called for yet another penalty almost immediately following the face-off after the Whitney penalty.

Because the penalty was delayed (meaning play doesn't stop until the team called for the penalty touches the puck), the Howlers pulled goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to put an extra attacker on the ice -- always a good idea, assuming you don't have a two-man advantage and the other team isn't going to take nearly a minute to stop the clock.

Unfortunately for the Coyotes, the Oilers did exactly that.

With a three-man advantage, the Coyotes spent more time keeping the Oilers from touching the puck and stopping the clock than they did trying to score a goal. Meanwhile, the clock was running on the two penalties that already had been enforced -- wasting more than 40 seconds of the Coyotes' two-man advantage.

The whole situation may sound complicated to the novice hockey fan, so we'll put it this way: The Coyotes would have been much better served by letting the Oilers touch the puck and stop the clock, rather than wasting nearly a minute of a two-man advantage by playing keep away with the Oilers penalty killers.

The Coyotes failed to score during the remainder of the power play, and gave up a goal with about five minutes left in regulation, which sent the game to overtime, and ultimately to a shootout, where the Yotes tend to shine.

Bryzgalov and Oilers goalie Jeff Deslauriers did most of the shining during the eight-round shootout, with Bryzgalov coming out on top.

Each goaltender stopped seven shooters until Coyotes forward Matthew Lombardi sneaked a quick backhand past Deslauriers.

With the pressure on, Bryzgalov did what he does best and stuffed a backhand from the stick of Ryan Jones to win the game.

The Coyotes hit the ice next on Wednesday when they host the Nashville Predators in Glendale. The puck drops at 7 p.m. The game will not be televised. For more information on Coyotes, click here.

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James King
Contact: James King