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Late Breakdowns Cost Coyotes In Loss To Oilers

Someone may want to tell the Phoenix Coyotes that they still have a bit of hockey to play before the All-Star break.

Phoenix failed to put away the lowly Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, and it cost them in the 4-3 loss to the "visiting" Oilers, who may have had just as many fans in the building as there were Coyote fans.

Things started off well for the Coyotes. Scottie Upshall netted a power play goal in the first to put the Coyotes up 1-0 after one. Kyle Turris extended that lead on a brilliant initial pass from Keith Yandle, which touched Ray Whitney in between to put the Coyotes up 2-0.

Then things got shaky for Phoenix. The next three goals in the game came from an Edmonton stick as they seized the lead, 3-2 in the third period. Jean-Francois Jaques netted the first for Edmonton, before Taylor Hall added the Oilers' second power play goal since Christmas. Edmonton had converted just one of their previous 50+ chances before Hall's equalizer. 

While Linus Omark's goal could have been the backbreaker, Upshall kept the Coyotes in it, taking a crisp pass from Shane Doan and putting it past Edmonton netminder Devan Dubnyk to tie it back up for the Coyotes. All things looked to be going to overtime, guaranteeing the Coyotes at least one point.

Unfortunately for Phoenix, they had a break down on the defensive end at the worst possible time. Dustin Penner wristed one home past Ilya Bryzgalov, who may have been screened by Shawn Horcoff, who was uncontested in front of the Phoenix net. Despite a power play in the waning seconds of the game, the Coyotes were unable to net a quick one.

If there is good news for Phoenix after the loss, it's that Keith Yandle was selected as a replacement for this month's All Star Game in Raleigh. The defenseman will replace Atlanta's Tobias Enstrom in the game. He joins Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who will be competing in the skills competition, as the only Phoenix representatives.

While many teams are starting their All Star vacations now, the Coyotes still have one more game to attend to before the break. They'll head to Colorado for a tilt with the Avalanche before the break.