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With just 8 games left for the Oilers in the regular season their playoff dreams seemed to be dwindling as they fell to Phoenix Coyotes in Edmonton last night. Boyd Gordon of the Coyotes opened the scoring 37 seconds into the second period and Antoine Vermette pushed their lead to two at the 9 minute mark. Nail Yakupov put the Oilers on the board 7:49 into the third, but the Coyotes squashed any hopes of tying it up when David Moss scored on a last minute power play at 19:51 in the third.

Even with the playoffs on the line, last nights game wasn’t just about winning or losing, it was about the fans. Last night was the Oilers fan appreciation night, and boy do they know how to show their fans some love.

Fans were greeted at the door with vouchers for free popcorn, the first of many giveaways that included box sets of their hit Sportsnet show Oil Change, autographed photos, a smart TV, two spots at their youth hockey school, free drinks, and tee shirts with a wide array of gift cards wrapped up inside. It seemed like every few minutes the Octane girls turned gift fairies were handing out more goodies to the Oilers Loyal and at the end of the night no one went home empty handed because everyone received a poster on their way out.

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But best of all was a gift from the players themselves, as a few lucky fans went home with autographed sticks, thrown over the glass at the end of the night.

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James Neilsen, shown above with his father and below with a few happy fans, was pretty excited to get a stick from Magnus Paajarvi and it’s safe to say that whether the Oilers won or lost last night, that’s a memory to last a life time.

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The Oilers are back in action this Saturday in their final game of the Battle of Alberta, hosting the Flames at 7:00 PM PST.

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