Oilers struggle to sink shots, lose 4-1 to Wild
|Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck positions himself in front of Edmonton's Nikolai Khabibulin and Jeff Petry Tueday, Jan. 18 at Rexall Place. The Wild won the game 4-1. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
Despite outshooting their opponent 32-26, Edmonton dropped a Wild one Tuesday night, resulting in a 4-1 loss to Minnesota. The home team's only goal, a third-period man-advantage marker from Magnus Paajarvi
, not only got the club on the scoreboard but also concluded a lengthy 11-game power-play drought for the Oil.
The Wild wasted no time making an impact. Although Nikolai Khabibulin
stopped Matt Cullen's initial deflection, the Minnesota centerman spun around and backhanded the rebound across the line to make it 1-0 for the visitors less than two minutes in.
Two minutes later, Brent Burns posted his team's fourth attempt and second goal when his wrister from the point sailed through traffic and into the net.
Near the period's midway point, Wild defenceman Nick Schultz fired the puck straight into the stands, resulting in a delay of game penalty. Edmonton was unable to score on that man-advantage, as well as a second late in the period, keeping them off the scoreboard heading into the middle frame.
In the second period, four Minnesota penalties -- including overlapping tripping minors to Antti Miettinen and Greg Zanon -- helped Edmonton pull ahead on the shot clock. But the snakebitten Oil were unable to beat Anton Khudobin on the power-plays and continued to trail by two.
It got worse for the Oilers at the conclusion of the period when communications staff announced that Ales Hemsky
had suffered a concussion and would not return to the game.
Five minutes into the third, the Oilers tasted the other side of the man-advantage when Linus Omark
was called for holding. The club excelled on the penalty-kill, testing Khudobin with a shorthanded shot while preventing the Wild from getting the puck on Khabibulin.
But once five-on-five resumed, the Wild got their third goal. After Tom Gilbert
lost his footing at the end boards, Pierre-Marc Bouchard snagged the puck, drew Khabibulin out of his crease, and tapped the puck across the line to set the score 3-0.
With just under eight minutes remaining in regulation, tempers flared in the Oilers zone. Theo Peckham
was fired up and looking for an altercation, but Zack Stortini
was the one to drop the gloves, embarking on a fiery fight with Burns. Fighting majors, a 10-minute misconduct to Stortini, and double roughing minor to Peckham were assessed.
Only five seconds into Peckham's first penalty, Andrew Brunette wristed the puck past Khabibulin to make it 4-0.
The infractions continued for both teams. At 14:23, Ladislav Smid
was booted from the action with a 10-minute misconduct, and just under two minutes later, Jean-Francois Jacques
and Staubitz dropped their gloves in the second fight of the night.
Staubitz took an additional two minutes for instigating, and the Oilers took the opportunity score a power-play goal. With help from Taylor Chorney
and Andrew Cogliano
, Paajarvi sunk a snapper to get his club back within three.
But it was too little, too late for Edmonton. Despite out-shooting the Wild 32-26, the Oilers finished three goals shy for a 4-1 loss.
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