Wild edge Oilers 3-1
|Robert Nilsson scores the Oilers' lone goal in the first period, over a sprawled Niklas Backstrom (photo: Bruce Kluckhohn / Wild)
by Marc Ciampa | edmontonoilers.com
The Minnesota Wild defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Wednesday night on the strength of goals from Andrew Brunette and Owen Nolan plus an empty-netter from Guillaume Latendresse. Robert Nilsson scored the lone Oilers tally.
The first good scoring chance of the game came when a Wild point shot made a strange hop on its way to the net. Oilers netminder Jeff Deslauriers
had to be sharp in scooping the puck up on a bounce and avoiding any chance of a rebound with Guillaume Latendresse perched in front.
The Wild had another chance several minutes later on a two-on-one when Andrew Ebbett fired it on goal. Deslauriers made that save and the rebound hit the side of the net.
9:02 into the opening frame, Ryan Stone
dropped the gloves with Clayton Stoner. The two traded heavy blows at the blueline for quite some time before the Wild defenceman got the better of the Oilers forward.
Edmonton took the game's first penalty with 6:54 to play in the first period. Ryan Potulny was sent off for high sticking.
It only took the Wild 28 seconds to capitalize on the man advantage. Marek Zidlicky took a shot from the right point that was stopped in front by Deslauriers but Andrew Brunette backhanded home the rebound to make it 1-0.
The line of Robert Nilsson, Ryan Stone
and Zack Stortini
picked up right where they left off on the team's last road trip. Tom Gilbert
blasted a shot that Backstrom saved but Nilsson swooped in to pick up the rebound and rang it just under the crossbar.
After one period, the Oilers had a 14-10 edge in shots over Minnesota.
The best chance in the early-going in period two came when Minnesota's Andrew Ebbett one-timed a pass from the high slot. Deslauriers had to be sharp in knocking the shot away with his glove.
Minnesota almost took the lead seven minutes in as Mikko Koivu rang a shot off the left post behind Deslauriers while on the rush. Brule cross-checked Koivu on the play, giving the Wild their third powerplay of the night.
Edmonton was able to kill off that man advantage and finally received a powerplay of their own with 5:30 to go in the middle frame. Derek Boogaard was sent off for cross-checking at that time.
On the PK, the Wild had a chance right off the bat when Owen Nolan rang a shot off the post behind Deslauriers. Going back the other way, Backstrom had to be sharp on a Gilbert Brule
shot from the slot after taking a feed from Robert Nilsson behind the net.
Nolan finally did convert with 1:38 to go in the second. He picked up the puck in the corner then cut to the high slot where he backhanded it high gloveside past Deslauriers.
Oilers were down by a goal heading into the final frame but had a 23-20 edge on the shot clock.
dropped the gloves with Nolan 1:07 into the third in an effort to get a spark going for his club.
Four minutes in, O'Sullivan was sprung alone on a breakaway. Backstrom got a piece of his shot but Kim Johnsson got a slashing penalty on the play, putting Edmonton on the powerplay for the second time tonight.
The Wild were able to hold off the Oilers that time and again when they had another powerplay several minutes later. The best scoring chance came on a Sam Gagner
wraparound attempt just as the Brodziak penalty expired.
With Horcoff in the box, the Oilers nearly tied the game. O'Sullivan created a two-on-one and passed it across to Souray whose shot was stopped by Backstrom. However, that was as close as the Oilers would get to tying the game.
Minnesota added an empty-net goal by Latendresse with four seconds to play.
|Three star selections