It has been more than 30 years since one team has had the number of their opposition to the degree that the Arizona Coyotes do over the Edmonton Oilers.
Jamie McGinn broke a tie with 3:44 left and Mike Smith made 41 saves in the Coyotes' 2-1 victory over the Oilers on Sunday. Arizona is 21-0-4 against Edmonton in the last 25 meetings, the longest stretch since Philadelphia went 32 games in a row without a regulation loss to Los Angeles from 1974-83.
McGinn regains the lead with this beauty pic.twitter.com/yQBe6IPDWO
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) November 27, 2016
— NHL (@NHL) November 27, 2016
Smith couldn't explain the lengthy streak, as well as his own 15-1-1 lifetime mark against the Oilers.
"I can't, I just can't," Smith said. "It's a team that we have had some success against, but I feel it is a little bit different of a team now than the one we have had so much success against in the past. It was definitely a challenging win for us."
McGinn was left all alone in front and beat goalie Cam Talbot to the stick side.
Radim Vrbata also scored to help the Coyotes complete a home-and-home sweep. They edged the Oilers in a shootout Friday night in the desert. The Coyotes have won three of their last four to improve to 8-10-2.
"We are 6-4-2 in our last 12 games," he said. "We have a lot of young players and new players and we knew it was going to take some time to get our group together and we are moving in the right direction."
Milan Lucic scored for the Oilers, and Talbot stopped 21 shots.
Arizona opened the scoring late in the first period. Vrbata took a no-look shot from the corner that bounced off Oilers defender Kris Russell and past Talbot.
Edmonton finally got on the board with 9:21 remaining in the third after a long point shot by Connor McDavid was tipped by Lucic in front of the net for his seventh of the season.
Edmonton buzzed around the Arizona net with Talbot pulled for the extra attacker, but couldn't get a second goal past Smith. He's 15-1-1 against the Oilers.
"We forced them to defend all game long," McDavid said. "If that (first) goal doesn't go in, it's a little bit of a different game. Ultimately we did a good job battling back and giving up that late goal is frustrating, but I don't think a lot of guys are too worried about it. Obviously those are big points against divisional teams that we cost ourselves, but it's a long year and we get to see them three more times."
Notes: It was the second of five meetings between the teams this season. ... The last time the Oilers beat the Coyotes in regulation time was Jan. 25, 2011.