Oilers 5, Wild 4, SO
Wild goaltender Josh Harding makes a save as Ales Hemsky
drives to the net
- photo by Andy Devlin Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club
scored two goals and then added the winner in the shootout as the Edmonton Oilers rolled to a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild at Rexall Place Thursday night.
Edmonton got on the board early in the game. 3:30 into the opening period with recent callup Ladislav Smid
making an early impact.
Smid's wrist shot from the left point was tipped on its way to the net by Shawn Horcoff
, hopping over Wild goaltender Josh Harding to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead.
Minnesota almost tied it up several minutes later with the puck loose in the crease and Roloson down and out but the Oilers netminder was able to stretch out just enough on the ice to deny a scoring chance.
Just past the midway point of period one, the Oilers scored again to double their lead to 2-0.
After patiently waiting for an opening, Hemsky snapped the puck from the slot over the shoulder of Harding for the goal.
The Oilers had a great opportunity to extend their lead even further 13 minutes into the period. Branko Radivojevic received a hooking penalty and five seconds later Kim Johnsson accidentally cleared the puck over the glass, giving Edmonton a five-on-three power play for 1:55.
Minnesota's penalty killers did a good job on the five-on-three to keep their team in the game.
Following the first period, Edmonton had a two-goal lead even though shots were even at 9-9.
Minnesota got back in the game six minutes into the second. Martin Skoula teed up a shot from the left point that Roloson stopped. Branko Radivojevic jammed a rebound from in-close but Roloson saved that as well. James Sheppard then put home the third attempt for his first career NHL goal.
Shortly after the goal, Derek Boogaard received two minutes for roughing to put Edmonton back on the power play and this time the home team capitalized.
On the play, Denis Grebeshkov made a nice move to dish the puck off to Horcoff. His shot bounced off a few Wild players but eventually found its way into the back of the net to make it 3-1.
A penalty to Grebeshkov at 12:25 of the second period put Edmonton's penalty killers to the test once again. On the ensuing power play, Roloson made a nice glove stop on Pierre-Marc Bouchard and then got his left pad down quick enough to deny Eric Belanger on the rebound.
On that same power play, Brodziak had his second five-star scoring chance while shorthanded. He intercepted the puck and went back the other way for a partial breakaway. His blast from the left circle was gloved by Harding.
Shortly after the penalty expired, Minnesota struck for their second of the game. Nick Schultz fired a slapper from the left point that was tipped by Mikko Koivu on its way to the net. The puck trickled to Bouchard who backhanded it into the open cage.
Late in the second, Hemsky had a breakaway but was denied on his close shot attempt. Hemsky spun around and picked up his own rebound but again Harding made a save.
After two, shots were 24-17 for the Wild.
Minnesota scored early in the third to tie the game up at 3-3. Brian Rolston was stationed at the left side of the net where he backhanded a rebound past Roloson for his fifth of the season.
Edmonton started to gain back some momentum as the period went on. Raffi Torres set the tempo with two huge hits on his shift. Right at the end of the shift, Ales Hemsky
scored a highlight reel goal to move Edmonton back in front at 4-3.
Hemsky picked up the puck in the slot and deked out the Wild defender before stickhandling around Harding and putting the puck in the net.
However, the lead was shortlived with Minnesota's Mark Parrish scoring on a wild scramble in front of the net less than two minutes later.
With four minutes left in regulation, coincidental penalties to Sam Gagner
and Brian Rolston opened up the ice for some four-on-four action.
Torres almost scored during the four on four when he carried the puck up ice through the neutral zone and into Wild territory. He then turned Schultz inside out before almost jamming the puck past Harding. Although he didn't score, he did draw a slashing penalty to Kim Johnsson putting Edmonton on the power play with 2:23 left.
At the end of regulation, shots on goal were even at 29-29.
Minnesota looked to have won when sniper Marian Gaborik had the puck and Roloson down and out but the Oilers netminder made an incredible save with his glove as Gaborik tried to lift it up and over to keep it tied 4-4.
Raffi Torres leaps in the air after crashing the Minnesota net in period three
- photo by Greg Skafte edmontonoilers.com
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