Penalty woes sink Oilers 4-2 in Minnesota
|Minnesota native Tom Gilbert races Cal Clutterbuck for the puck during Thursday's game at Xcel Energy Center. The Oilers came out on the wrong end of a 4-2 decision. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)
After allowing the first goal in the opening period, the Oilers battled back to take a 2-1 lead early in the second. But the club had trouble staying out of the penalty box and the Wild capitalized, adding three more power-play goals to sink the Oil 4-2 Thursday night.
and Tom Gilbert
scored for Edmonton, while Nikolai Khabibulin
registered 20 saves in the losing effort.
Edmonton started its road schedule the right way with a power-play only 1:39 in, but Minnesota's Matt Cullen was able to complete his hooking minor without any damage done on the scoreboard.
The Wild took a second penalty, followed shortly thereafter by the Oilers. As Dustin Penner
sat in the penalty box, Andrew Brunette fed Antti Miettinen in the slot, who wristed the puck past Nikolai Khabibulin
to give Wild fans their first home goal of the season.
Two additional Wild penalties helped the Oilers attain a 10-5 shot lead in the latter half of the frame, but the club couldn't capitalize on the opportunities and headed into the second period trailing 1-0.
Minnesota's penalty woes continued, and Edmonton finally made them pay three minutes into the second. From the high slot, Penner one-timed Ales Hemsky
's centering pass to get the Oilers on the board and tie the game at one.
Six minutes later, a Minnesota native attacked his hometown team. On the right point, Tom Gilbert
got the puck and wired it past Niklas Backstrom to give the Oilers their first lead of the game.
Gilbert's goal was the first even-strength marker of the game, but power-plays came back into play as the period progressed. With Magnus Paajarvi
serving a holding minor, Mikko Koivu tipped in Cullen's shot to tie the game at two. With Jim Vandermeer
in the penalty box less than a minute later, Koivu was credited with his second of the night after the puck slipped under Khabibulin and across the line.
Backstrom's sturdy post kept a potential Sam Gagner
equalizer from materializing as the minutes ticked down, and thus the Oilers found themselves trailing 3-2 heading into the third period.
Edmonton had a few good scoring chances early in the final frame, but the club couldn't beat Backstrom. Consecutive penalties to former Wild Kurtis Foster
didn't help matters, and at 7:37, the home team made the most of their man-advantage when Cullen deflected a shot past Khabibulin. The goal was Minnesota's fourth on the power-play.
The Oilers gunned for two goals by pulling Khabibulin in the final two minutes of regulation. Although the Wild couldn't sink their three attempted empty-netters, the Oil were unable to light the lamp either and suffered their first loss of the season, a 4-2 decision in Minnesota.
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