Anton Lander scored on a penalty shot and then again in the shootout to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory at the Xcel Energy Center on Friday night.
The Oilers were down 3-1 in the third period but late goals by Linus Omark and Ryan Jones forced the extra frame.
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The Oilers began the game by peppering Wild 'tender Niklas Backstrom with three shots in the opening minute. On Minnesota's only rush, however, the home side went to the power-play when Linus Omark was assessed a hooking minor in his own end.
The Wild were unable to record a shot on goal, helping the Oilers improve on an 83-percent penalty-killing success rate in the pre-season; but a sequence of high-quality chances followed the man-advantage opportunity, nearly putting Minnesota on the board. Oilers tough-guy Darcy Hordichuk heroically blocked a sure-goal, keeping the game scoreless six-minutes in.
With 11:15 remaining in the period, 'arch-enemy' Dany Heatley was charged two-minutes for inadvertently shooting the puck into section 103. The Oilers added another three shots to their tally, but nothing amounted on the scoreboard.
With under eight minutes on the clock, the Oilers pressed for the icebreaker. An incredible play set up by Gilbert Brule allowed Ryan Keller and Jeff Petry to challenge Backstrom point-blank, but the 6'1", 189-pound netminder turned them all away.
At 15:45, Brule continued his strong period by driving the crease hard on rookie blueliner Justin Falk. Brule couldn't escape the check, causing a tripping minor to be called. The Oilers' 0-1 power-play went back to work. But once again, the Oilers were unable to convert.
The Oilers endured a shaky minute to close the period, surrendering an additional two shots, but led 13-9 when the buzzer sounded in a 0-0 tie.
The Wild's 10th shot came only 37 seconds into the period, issuing a 1-0 lead to the home side in the process. Pierre-Marc Bouchard curled from the corner, eluding suspect coverage from the Oilers before sliding the puck past Dubnyk for the advantage.
With 18:30 remaining, a race for an icing turned ugly. Minnesota's Eric Nystrom tripped Taylor Fedun hard, recklessly into the end-boards behind Dubnyk. The 23-year-old screamed in pain and was assessed by medical staff from both teams before being carted off on a stretcher.
Theo Peckham came to his teammate's aide, engaging Nystrom in a brief skirmish. Peckham picked up a two-minute roughing minor, while Nystom was charged with boarding (and a game misconduct), putting the Oilers on a three-minute power-play. That opportunity passed without incident and the Wild's 1-0 advantage continued to grace the board.
With 13:03 remaining, Anton Lander was sprung on a breakaway. Wild rearguard Marek Zidlicky slashed the Swedish centre on the pants, causing a penalty shot to be awarded. Lander skated in, deked forehand-backhand, scooping the puck upstairs on Backstrom for the 1-1 tally.
The teams exchanged power-play chances near the period's midway mark, but nothing more was generated on the scoreboard. As such, Edmonton was in possession of a 20-17 shot edge late in the period, but the 1-1 score continued.
With 3:54 to play, a call to Minnesota's Guillaume Latendresse kept the penalty box doors swinging, putting the visitors on yet another man-advantage opportunity. The Oilers produced another four shots in the two-minute power-play, but Backstrom shut the door.
The Oilers and Wild headed into the third period locked in a 1-1 score, but the home side had 1:46 of power-play time carrying over following a late-period holding infraction to Anton Lander.
47 seconds into the period, the Wild took another early lead. Mikko Koivu's blast from the top of the circle beat an unscreened Dubnyk glove-side, putting Minnesota up 2-1.
Looking to respond, the Oilers went back to the power-play when Latendress was assessed a hooking minor at 2:59. The attempt was largely unsuccessful until Lander was charged with holding at 4:44, putting the teams in a quick and spirited four-on-four sequence.
When Minnesota's penalty expired, the Wild went on the attack. Devin Setoguchi burst down the wing, hammering a slapper past Dubnyk under the bar to give the home team a 3-1 lead.
As the period's 10-minute mark came and went, the Oilers held a 30-23 advantage on the shot clock, but weren't any closer to drawing even on the scoreboard.
With 7:20 to play, camp surprise Lennart Petrell did his part to ignite the team's bench. He dropped the mitts with Minnesota's Brett Bulmer in a highly-entertaining tilt, drawing even as the ruckus Xcel Energy Center crowd went wild.
With 6:22 to play, Lander's quick faceoff win allowed Linus Omark to step into a quick wrister, beating Backstrom bar-in to restore the Oilers' one-goal disadvantage only seconds into the ensuing game action.
The Oilers struck once more, 27 seconds later to bring the match on even terms. Omark's centering pass redirected off Petry in the slot, but Ryan Jones was quick to pounce. He picked up the loose disc and launched a backhand over Backstrom to silence the crowd and Wild bench.
Within moments, the Oilers had drawn to a 3-3 score.
Greg Zanon was assessed a holding minor at 14:50, putting the Oilers on their eighth man-advantage opportunity. In search of the go-ahead marker, the visitors were unable to cash.
With only 1:38 to play, Darcy Hordichuk appeared to put the Oilers ahead 4-3. He did score, but a cross-checking call to Gilbert Brule (behind the play) caused the tally to be canceled. As such, the Wild went back on the power-play late in the period.
Minnesota had 22 seconds of man-advantage time carried over in the overtime session. Brule returned to the ice following a successful kill, putting the teams into the four-on-four circumstance shortly into the period.
The Wild tested Dubnyk with one shot in overtime, while the Oilers were unable to generate a single attempt on goal.
Mikko Koivu and Linus Omark opened the show, but were both denied by the teams' netminders. Pierre-Marc Bouchard was up next, but his weak attempt was smothered by Dubnyk. Looking for the lead, Anton Lander stepped up for the Oilers, and he snapped a missile over Backstrom's glove to put the Oilers ahead 1-0.
Dubnyk made a circus-like save on Devin Setoguichi moments later, icing a 4-3 win for the Oilers.