Oilers tame Wild 3-2
|Tom Gilbert fires the game-winning goal past Josh Harding in the second period of Saturday night's game vs. the Minnesota Wild at Rexall Place. (Photo by Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
- Dwayne Roloson, EDM - 43 saves for 22nd win of the season
- Liam Reddox, EDM - 2 assists
- Andrew Brunette, MIN - 1 goal + 3 shots
- With the win, the Oilers improve to 31-26-5 and leap-frog into a tie with Anaheim for seventh spot in the Western Conference.
- Edmonton heads back on the road for a four-game trip starting Tuesday, March 3 in Nashville. Game time is 6:00pm MST.
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
Goals by Ales Hemsky
, Zack Stortini
and Tom Gilbert
, as well as 43 saves from Dwayne Roloson, helped the Edmonton Oilers secure a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Minnesota Wild Saturday night at Rexall Place.
The Oilers tested Josh Harding with four shots in the first five minutes of the game, but the club was then forced to switch gears when Fernando Pisano took a tripping penalty. Less than a minute into the man-advantage, Mikko Koivu hit Dwayne Roloson's left post and Andrew Brunette pounced on the rebound to give the Wild a 1-0 lead.
Despite surrendering the first goal, the Oilers stayed on top of the shot clock; six minutes later, the club's persistence paid off. From the top of the slot, Ales Hemsky
tucked the puck under Harding's crossbar to register his 20th goal of the season and tie the game at one.
But as the period progressed, penalty problems put Edmonton back down a goal. Though the club successfully killed Ladislav Smid
's delay of game penalty and the majority of Steve Staios' hooking minor, the Wild's Antti Miettinen
beat Roloson with a wrist shot to renew his club's lead heading into the second period.
630 CHED's Dan Tencer talks to Shawn Horcoff after the first period
The Oilers benefited from their first man-advantage when Peter Olvecky was called for hooking. Although the club couldn't match the visitors' powerplay prowess, tough guy Zack Stortini
employed his snap-shot to get Edmonton back on even terms one minute into five-on-five.
Exciting scoring chances at both ends of the ice tested the flexibility and reflexes of both goalies, and they received high marks for their acrobatic saves. But at 15:22, Oilers blueliner -- and Minnesota native -- Tom Gilbert
found a flaw in Harding's game when he jumped into the play and scored with a high snapshot to give the copper and blue a 3-2 lead.
After 40 minutes, the Oilers were up by one goal and tied with 27 shots.
Tencer interviews goal-scorer Tom Gilbert in the second intermission
An early Minnesota shot nearly tied the game at three, but Ladislav Smid
snuck in behind Roloson and swept the puck away from the line when it bumbled past the goalie. Roloson wouldn't require Smid's safety net again, as he performed a pair of highlight-worthy saves when the Wild roared past the 30-shot mark.
Shortly after Minnesota posted its 40th shot, a collision near center ice resulted in coincidental tripping and diving penalties to Hemsky and Marek Zidlicky. The visitors pulled Harding in favour of six skaters in the final 40 seconds and attained 45 shots as a result.
But instead of a goal, the Wild earned two penalties for high-sticking Ethan Moreau -- an incident that sent the Oilers Captain tumbling to the ice and Head Medical Trainer Ken Lowe rushing off the bench. Head Coach Craig MacTavish later confirmed that Moreau received an eye injury on the play and was taken to hospital.
Although the team Captain wouldn't witness the final 20 seconds of the game, his club held on for a 3-2 win over the Wild.
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