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Hanzal's goal lifts Coyotes over Oilers

GLENDALE, Arizona (AP) -- The Phoenix Coyotes enjoy playing the

role of the spoiler.

The Coyotes knocked off Vancouver last weekend and then beat the

playoff-hopeful Edmonton Oilers, 3-2, on Thursday night.

The also-ran Coyotes are playing with a purpose and providing a

challenge for clubs fighting for spots in the postseason.

"How this team is responding is real positive," Coyotes coach

Wayne Gretzky said. "I thought against Vancouver was a good

effort, and again tonight was an equally good effort. I'm really

happy with the way our young guys are progressing."

Martin Hanzal scored the winning goal, and kept the Oilers from

gaining critical points in their chase for a Western Conference

playoff spot. Edmonton lost its third straight while Phoenix won

for the third time in five games.

"We lost our composure in our zone (in the second period), and

that cost us the game," Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray said.

"Right now, we're getting down to the nitty-gritty in the

schedule and can only look ahead."

Matthew Lombardi had a goal and an assist, and Ken Klee also

scored for Phoenix. Hanzal's second-period tally stood up as the

game-winner.

Ales Kotalik and Ales Hemsky netted Edmonton's goals. Kotalik

scored his 16th of the season at 10:01 and Hemsky got the Oilers

within 3-2 just 43 seconds later when he put a shot between the

legs of defenseman Kurt Sauer and by Ilya Bryzgalov.

The Oilers have eight games remaining.

"We're running out of defeats," coach Craig MacTavish said. "I

thought we played well, but had a breakdown in the second

period. They get nine shots, score three goals, and that did us.

We had an inability to survive that period."

The Coyotes took a 1-0 lead when Lombardi beat goalie Dwayne

Roloson, who dropped to his knees, with a wrist shot to the far

side just 3:42 into the game.

Phoenix increased its lead with two goals just over three

minutes apart in the second period.

Klee, a 37-year-old defenseman, scored his first of the season

when he converted a centering pass from Nigel Dawes at 11:38.

Hanzal made it 3-0 when he took a pass from Petr Prucha and

scored his 11th of the campaign at 14:56.

"It's always nice when I score, and especially when it's the

game winner," Hanzal said. "Every win is a huge win, and this

was especially good because it was at home and we want to win

for the fans."

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