Wild 4, Oilers 2
Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom tries to get back up during a scramble in front of the Minnesota net as Oiler Kyle Brodziak looks on.
- photo by Andy Devlin Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club
Jarret Stoll scored two goals but a late second period goal and early third-period marker resulted in Minnesota coming from behind to defeat Edmonton 4-2.
Edmonton fired a total of 40 shots on Minnesota goaltenders Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding, the latter of which replaced Backstrom to start the third.
"It seemed like we let up a little bit as the game wore on," said Geoff Sanderson. "We got off to a pretty decent start, threw a lot of pucks at the net. They're so good at responding, after we scored they came back to get one."
After falling behind 1-0 in the opening frame, a couple of spirited shifts got the Oilers back on even terms with Minnesota early in the second period.
First, Penner almost scored after a point shot from Allan Rourke was kicked out by Backstrom. Penner picked up the rebound and tried to backhand it by the Wild netminder but it went just wide.
On the next shift, the puck drifted into the Minnesota zone and Backstrom went to play it but it went into the no-touch area. Hemsky swooped in to pick it up and carried the puck around the net. Backstrom scrambled to get back and made the first stop but the rebound went to Stoll perched at the right side of the net and he backhanded it just past the outstretched leg of the Wild netminder.
"However it goes in, it goes in. They count," said Stoll. "That's what we have to find a way to do more of."
With Robert Nilsson in the box serving a penalty for holding, Stoll scored his second of the game and third of the season shorthanded. Stoll caused a turnover in his own zone and broke in alone on Backstrom. He was hauled down whiel shooting the puck but still managed to beat the Minnesota netminder five-hole.
"I found out it went in by hearing the roar of the crowd," Stoll continued.
On that same power play, Minnesota connected to tie the game. Marian Gaborik was stationed to the right side of the net and one-timed a cross-crease pass from Eric Belanger past Roloson.
Cogliano took an interference penalty in the final minute of the second period. Right off the faceoff, Kurtis Foster
teed up a shot from the top of the left circle that beat Roloson to put Minnesota back in front 3-2.
Shots after two periods were 25-16 for Edmonton.
Minnesota extended their lead 57 seconds into the third period when Mark Parrish took a pass from Gaborik and one-timed it past Roloson to make it 4-2. Belanger got the other assist, his fourth of the night.
Edmonton made a late push to tie the game, pulling Roloson at 17:53 of the third and put some pressure on Harding but the Wild goaltender wouldn't crack.
Penalties to Tarnstrom and Staios in the dying seconds of the game ended any hope of an Edmonton comeback.
Minnesota's first goal came in the opening period. Martin Skoula faked a shot, got Zack Stortini
to commit and then directed the puck on net. The puck changed directions, hitting Allan Rourke on its way to the net and fooled Roloson.
Shortly after, Edmonton had a power play opportunity when rookie James Sheppard was sent off for hooking. The Oilers managed several shots during their man advantage with their best chance coming when Dick Tarnstrom tried to jam the puck from the top of the crease while pinching in deep.
Aside from an Ales Hemsky
crossbar minutes into the game, Edmonton's best chances to score in the opening period came on the penalty kill. First, Brodziak almost swept the puck past Backstrom as he flopped around on the ice during a scramble in front.
Seconds later, Jarret Stoll was on the receiving end of a two-on-one but his one timer went just wide of the net. Marty Reasoner stepped on the ice moments after that and wristed it from the slot but Backstrom again made the save.
After one period, shots on goal were 16-8 in favour of Edmonton.
Skoula's goal was his first in 113 games. Last time he scored was on March 13, 2006 - also against Edmonton... Belanger's four assists matched a Minnesota franchise record. It marked the fourth time a Minnesota player had four helpers in one game.
Minnesota forward Stephane Veilleux wears a cage in his first game back after suffering a fractured cheekbone as Oilers Marty Reasoner (left) and Raffi Torres (right) react to the faceoff.
- photo by Greg Skafte edmontonoilers.com
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