EDMONTON, Alberta – Mike Smith stopped 21 shots for his 10th straight victory and the streaking Phoenix Coyotes beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Saturday to move into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Ray Whitney and Shane Doan scored for the Coyotes, who won their fifth straight to jump two points ahead of San Jose. The Sharks play at Nashville Saturday night.
Martin Hanzal added two assists as Phoenix improved to 10-0-1 in February.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for the Oilers, who lost for the first time in three games.
Phoenix opened the scoring when a shot drifting wide of the net by Eckman-Larsson hit the leg of Edmonton's Jeff Petry and bounced past goalie Devan Dubnyk to make it 1-0 with just under 6 minutes left in the opening period.
Edmonton caught a break of its own less than a minute later.
Phoenix's Lauri Korpikoski attempted a wraparound and the puck remained sitting on the ice between Dubnyk's legs. Antoine Vermette poked it into the net, but it was ruled that an official had already blown the whistle and the score remained 1-0.
The Coyotes took a 2-0 lead late in the first as Ray Whitney blazed past defenseman Ryan Whitney then slid the puck through Dubnyk's legs. It was Whitney's 12th point in his last seven games against the Oilers, a team he served as stickboy for as a kid.
Edmonton scored about 8 minutes into the third when Ales Hemsky threw a puck in front and Nugent-Hopkins deflected it past Smith for his 14th of the season.
Doan cemented the win for Phoenix with just over 2 minutes remaining, blasting a shot from the top of the circle past Dubnyk high to the glove side for his 20th goal of the season.
NOTES: It was the third of four meetings between the two teams this season. Phoenix won the first two at home by identical 4-2 scores. ... Oilers coach Tom Renney returned to the bench after missing five games with a concussion sustained when a puck hit him in the head during practice. ... Nugent-Hopkins returned to the lineup after missing 20 of the last 22 games with shoulder injuries. ... Oilers F Magnus Paajarvi played despite suffering what appeared to be a bad knee injury Friday against Philadelphia. ... Phoenix F Gilbert Brule (head) didn't face his former team after being injured against Los Angeles.