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AT THE MORNING SKATE:
A full contingent of Oilers took to the ice Monday morning for the second-last gameday skate of the season at Rexall Place.
After being scratched Saturday night in Phoenix, Ryan Potulny returned to one of the top lines at the morning skate, centering Dustin Penner and Andrew Cogliano.
Potulny said sitting out the game was for the best.
"I think it was good for me to just sit and watch a game, to sit back and take it all in. I think at times here this last little stretch, I was over-thinking the game, trying to do too much, and that's not really my game. My game is to play simple and let my reactions kind of take over, my hockey sense."
Associate Coach Tom Renney says it's common for young players to faulter when attempting to take their game to the next level.
"I think a lot of times when you see a young player that's trying to get that NHL traction they over-think the game, they try to do too much within the execution of the game plan," Renney explained. "They're there in the first place usually because they've got good instincts and can play hockey, and I think for a guy like Ryan, he's just got to come back and let the game happen for him."
RUNNING THE LINES
In addition to the Penner-Potulny-Cogliano combo, Oilers coaches showcased the following lines this morning:
Ethan Moreau - Shawn Horcoff - Fernando Pisani
Robert Nilsson - Marc Pouliot - Patrick O'Sullivan
Ryan Jones - Mike Comrie - Zack Stortini
Call-up Charles Linglet is expected to sit out, as is Gilbert Brule, who suffered an ankle injury Friday, April 2 at Dallas and will likely miss the rest of the season.
Devan Dubnyk will also get the start tonight vs. the Wild.
OILERS INK OMARK
GM Steve Tambellini said he expects Omark to compete for a position with the Oilers next season and, if he doesn't make the cut, to play with the club's AHL affiliate in Oklahoma.
When asked if Omark is ready to play the North American game, Tambellini said he's optimistic.
"He's got some attributes there that are well above average. Whether he can bring that package and make this team, I don't know. We'll have to see, and we'll have to see what this roster looks like when we get to next September."
Head Coach Pat Quinn said that although he doesn't know very much about Omark, he's heard that he's skilled and hopes to see more of the intangibles.
"Skill is a part of the equation. If you've got it and you've got some other stuff to go with it, boy, you're lucky," Quinn explained. "I'm not a big hot-dog fan, I don't like the pretty stuff if it doesn't come up in a result. These backhand flip passes that are lofts -- and in practice you can even hear the players say 'ooh, isn't that pretty' -- well it doesn't win a lot of hockey games.
"But if he's got the kind of skill that can come in here and play an NHL game, then I like that."
WILD (37-35-7) at OILERS (24-46-8)
Last 10: Minnesota 3-6-1; Edmonton 3-6-1.
Season Series: This is the sixth and final meeting between the Northwest Division rivals. Minnesota has won three of the first five matchups, including a 4-2 victory on March 16 at the Xcel Energy Center.
Big Story: They may not have a chance at the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the Wild are going down fighting. Despite trailing by two goals in the final minute on Sunday night, Minnesota rallied with a pair of tallies to force overtime before dropping a 4-3 decision in Vancouver.
Wild: Minnesota seemed destined to leave GM Place empty handed when Alexander Edler gave the Canucks a 3-1 lead at 19:05 of the third period, but Cody Almond and Antti Miettinen both beat Roberto Luongo just 23 seconds apart before the final buzzer to give Minnesota a well-deserved point.
The Wild went 1-for-8 on the power play.
"They're a good team at home, and we probably didn't get out of the gate the way we wanted to and it took the wind out of our sails," said forward Andrew Brunette.
Oilers: Edmonton suffered its fifth straight loss on Saturday night in a 3-2 shootout decision in Phoenix. Jeff Deslauriers was tremendous throughout but allowed a goal to Matthew Lombardi in the eighth round of the shootout as the Oilers left Jobing.com Arena with one point instead of two.
"It's hard not to like how our guys played," Edmonton coach Pat Quinn said. "Most of our guys played with effort."
Who's Hot: Antti Miettinen has two goals and an assist in his last two games for Minnesota. … Oilers forward Dustin Penner picked up his 29th goal of the season on Saturday against the Coyotes. He also has two goals and three points in his last two contests. Shawn Horcoff has 13 points in his last 16 games.
Injury Report: Wild forward Chuck Kobasew (knee) missed his fourth straight game on Sunday and is unlikely to play on Monday. Martin Havlat, Andrew Ebbett, Josh Harding, Clayton Stoner and Pierre-Marc Bouchard are all out. … The following players are out for Edmonton -- Nikolai Khabibulin, Ales Hemsky, Sheldon Souray, Ladislav Smid, J.F. Jacques, Theo Peckham and Gilbert Brule. Ryan Stone (knee) and Sam Gagner (hip) are day-to-day.
Stat Pack: Minnesota will finish the season with its fewest road wins since posting 15 in 2005-06. They enter Monday's action with 12. … The Oilers played almost 17 minutes shorthanded on Saturday, but the Coyotes went 0-for-9 on the power play.
Puck Drop: ''(Almond's goal) gave us a little life. The third period was obviously our best period and we didn't quit and it was a good sign.'' -- Wild forward Andrew Brunette after Sunday's 4-3 overtime loss at Vancouver
-- Brian Compton, NHL.com