|Brian Rolston #12 of the Minnesota Wild controls the puck while Ladislav Smid #5 of the Edmonton Oilers defends during the game at Xcel Energy Center on March 26, 2008 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
Minnesota got on the board first when Marian Gaborik created a turnover in the netural zone and broke in on a two-on-one with Branko Radivojevic. Gaborik threaded a pass neatly onto the steak of Radivojevic who put it into the open side past an outstretched Dwayne Roloson.
On the next faceoff after the goal, Zack Stortini dropped the gloves with Derek Boogaard. Boogaard made quick work of the Oilers forward.
Roloson made a huge save five minutes into the first, robbing Mikko Koivu on a quick shot from the left circle. Roloson extended out his blocker to knock away the puck and deny Minnesota the tic-tac-toe play.
Later on that same shift, Steve Staios took a hooking penalty to give Minnesota the game's first power play.
The Wild struck with 31 seconds to go in the man advantage when Sean Hill took advantage of a neat backhand pass by Koivu and one-timed the puck blocker side past Roloson to make it 2-0.
Edmonton carried most of the play in the opening half of the first period despite being down two goals on the scoreboard. Shots on goal were 10 to 4 for the Oilers at that point.
Minnesota's penalty killers came up big in the latter half of the period, denying Edmonton's power play on two occasions.
At the tail end of the Brent Burns penalty, Tom Gilbert was sent off for hooking and 25 seconds later Joni Pitkanen cleared the puck over the glass from his own end to give Minnesota a five-on-three power play.
The Oilers were able to kill off the two penalties with the toughest stop being on Marian Gaborik near the end of the second man advantage.
Shots on goal after one were 11 to 7 for the Oilers.
The Oilers almost got one back in the opening minute of the second period. Hemsky fed it over to Jarret Stoll as he barrelled through the slot. Stoll's attempted deke on Backstrom just missed the mark.
Roloson came up with a big stop just past the period's two-minute point, kicking out his left pad to make the save.
Moments later, Aaron Voros broke in and his shot was blocked by Roloson. Boogaard then crashed the net and landed on top of the Oilers netminder which shook him up for a few minutes.
Nick Schultz's flubbed his attempt to clear the puck, sending the puck straight to Gagner in the slot. Gagner wired a shot after receiving the gift but it went off the right post.
Hill took a high sticking penalty midway through the second but on the ensuing power play, Koivu chipped the puck past Stoll to create a two-on-one with Rolston. Koivu fed the puck over to Rolston who fired it in for the goal.
The Oilers nearly got their first of the game with six minutes to go in the period. Backstrom had trouble handling Grebeshkov's initial shot from the point but Pisani couldn't get enough control of the rebound to sweep it past the fallen Wild netminder.
Several minutes later, Pitkanen's point shot went through the legs of Backstrom but just wide, right on the stick of Reasoner. He hit the side of the net but a penalty on the play to Keith Carney gave Edmonton another power play opportunity.
Shots after two periods were 19 to 15 for Edmonton.
Edmonton came out of the gates quickly to start the third, firing the first five shots in the period. Pouliot had the best chance when he attempted to backhand deke through the five hole of Backstrom but the Wild netminder swatted the puck away.
Several shifts later, Pisani pounced on a loose puck in front of the net, rang it off the post and in to close the gap to 3-1.
The Oilers had a pair of power play chances later on in the third period but could not convert.