Once again, the Edmonton Oilers blazed out to a 3-0 lead but this time they didn't make things quite as interesting, holding on for a 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild at Rexall Place on Monday night.
Edmonton's fourth line once again set the tempo in this one, scoring 1:59 into the opening period to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead.
Wild goaltender NIklas Backstrom made the initial stop on Kyle Brodziak's shot from the left circle but Glencross pounced on the rebound at the top of the crease and backhanded past the fallen goaltender.
Three minutes later, the Oilers scored two goals in 18 seconds to extend their lead to 3-0.
First, Robert Nilsson took advantage of a bad Wild line change to create a two-on-one with himself and Andrew Cogliano. Nilsson dished it to the slot where Cogliano flicked it past Backstrom for the goal.
18 seconds after the Cogliano goal, Hemsky sent Penner in alone with a nice feed up ice. Penner deked out Backstrom, making it 3-0.
Backstrom was replaced in goal by Josh Harding after Edmonton's third goal.
The Wild bounced back 49 seconds after Edmonton's third goal as Nick Schultz fired a point shot that bounced in off Ladislav Smid's glove in front of the net before beating Roloson, closing the gap to 3-1.
Edmonton continued on the attack despite the setback but Harding came up with a pair of dazzling glove saves. First, he extended out his right glove hand to snag the puck out of the air following a point shot by Denis Grebeshkov.
Several minutes later, he gloved a Hemsky wrister to keep it a two-goal game.
Marc Pouliot had a chance with a loose puck in front of the Wild net as he tried to pick up a rebound but he was hauled down by Keith Carney, giving Edmonton the game's first power play.
After one period, shots on goal were 15 to 10 for the Oilers.
Edmonton's fourth line set the tempo once again in the early part of the second period. After the Wild killed off a penalty to Derek Boogaard, the line created several five star scoring chances.
First, Glencross had Harding at his mercy but rang the shot off the post from the left circle.
Moments later, Brodziak knocked down a Harding clearing attempt, danced in front of the net, outwaited the Wild goaltender and then wristed it into the open cage to give Edmonton a 4-1 lead.
Much like the last time Edmonton had a three-goal lead, this one was also shortlived. Sean Hill scored on a slap shot 1:10 after Brodziak's goal to make it 4-2.
However, the Oilers didn't let that goal sway the game's momentum. Marty Reasoner had a pair of great chances as his line kept a lot of pressure down low through plenty of good forechecking.
On the next shift, Brodziak broke in behind the Wild defence but was thwarted on his deke attempt by Harding.
The following shift after that, Gagner threw the puck in front where Cogliano backhanded it by Harding to increase Edmonton's lead to three goals once again at 5-2.
After two periods, Edmonton had a 27-21 edge in shots.
Niklas Backstrom came back into the game to replace Harding to start the third period for Minnesota.
Hemsky and Gagner almost teamed up for Edmonton's sixth goal during a four-on-four situation. Hemsky drove to the net with the puck while Gagner jammed at the rebound but Backstrom was right there to make both saves.
After time expired in a Minnesota bench penalty, it gave the Wild an abbreviated power play. One second after the penalty to Marc Pouliot expired, Skoula's point shot was tipped on its way to the net by Fedoruk before evading Roloson, hitting the post and in.
Andrew Cogliano was double shifted at the end of the game with Minnesota's net empty but couldn't get a clear shot at the hat trick.
Andrew Cogliano scores his first of two goals on the night in the opening period.
- photo by Andy Devlin Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club