Dysin Mayo scores goal in NHL debut, but Coyotes fall to Oilers

José M. Romero
Arizona Republic

Two second-period goals 2 minutes and 22 seconds apart, and two third-period goals on successive power plays were the difference for the Edmonton Oilers in their 5-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes Thursday night at Gila River Arena. 

The Coyotes' goal was one to remember for defenseman Dysin Mayo, whose wrist shot from long range just 85 seconds into the third period was his first career NHL goal in his first career NHL game. 

The Coyotes, winless in their first four games of the season at 0-3-1, trailed 1-0 after one period and 3-0 after two. Karel Vejmelka, in his second start in goal and third appearance of the season, stopped 26 of 31 shots.

The Oilers got two goals each from Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman and one from Warren Foegele. Arizona was 0-for-4 on the power play and gave up goals on their only two penalty kills of the night, both in the third period. 

The Oilers took a 1-0 lead late in the first period when Foegele worked the puck around the defense of Mayo and got off a shot that Vejmelka couldn't control off his pads.

Until then, it had been a good first period for the Coyotes, who generated chances and didn't give the Pacific Division leaders many good scoring looks. 

In the second period, Hyman scored a shorthanded goal with the Coyotes on the power play. Moments later, McDavid skated around Arizona's Johan Larsson and fired from close range between Vejmelka's legs for the 24-year-old Edmonton captain's 200th of his career. 

"Their shorthanded goal was a big swing. Our power play was confident, we've played well on our power play so far this year, and instead of getting back into the game, you give them a bigger lead," Tourigny said. "I liked the way our guys responded in the third. We came two shots away from tying it and unfortunately when our penalty killing was called upon, we couldn't get it done."

The lineup change on defense that Coyotes head coach André Tourigny hinted at on Wednesday was the NHL debut for Mayo, a 25-year-old defenseman who has spent the past 4 ½ seasons with the Tucson Roadrunners of the American Hockey League.

Mayo played 20 shifts and had three shots, in 14 minutes, 51 seconds of ice time. Paired on defense with Shayne Gostisbehere, he was in Coyotes training camp earlier this month until being assigned to Tucson, where he played the first two games of their season. He was brought up when the Coyotes sent Vladislav Provolnev to Tucson earlier this week. 

"I wasn't expecting that coming in tonight. My goal was just to play a good shutdown game and show that I can compete and play here, and I think I did a good job of that," Mayo said. 

Hyman scored his second goal of the night on the power play at 9:05 of the third period, with McDavid getting an assist. Then McDavid had an easy tap-in on the power play at 10:58, his sixth goal of the season. 

Vejmelka allowed only one goal in regulation time at Buffalo in his first career NHL start last week, but wasn't as sharp on Thursday. 

"On the PK we didn't really help him. I think those goals were really tough," Tourigny said of Vejmelka. "Obviously his performance in Buffalo was absolutely phenomenal, I will not say that this performance was phenomenal, but I won't say he had anything to be blamed."

'Bear' track

Tourigny (who often goes by his nickname, "Bear") said the Coyotes made some defensive adjustments from the last game that helped them play better. 

O Canada 

The Canadian national anthem had not been heard before a hockey game at Gila River Arena since Feb. 4, 2020, before the COVID-19 shutdown and with the Oilers in town for a regular season game. 

Edmonton was the last Canadian team to play the Coyotes in Arizona until Thursday night. The two teams were in separate divisions during the shortened 2020-2021 season and never faced each other. 

Up next 

The Coyotes face the New York Islanders Saturday night at Gila River Arena. The two teams haven't played each other since Feb, 17, 2020. Former Islander Andrew Ladd, who got an assist on Mayo's goal, faces the organization with which he spent the previous five seasons. 

Get in touch with Jose Romero at Jose.Romero@gannett.com. Find him on Twitter at @RomeroJoseM.