Minnesota
Wild
48-26-8
Edmonton
Oilers
32-43-7

25 SOG
25 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
MIN
EDM
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Wild-Oilers Preview

Thursday, 12.14.2006 / 5:00 PM

Associated Press

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Wild-Oilers Preview
Minnesota Wild vs. Edmonton Oilers

The Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers are currently tied atop the Northwest Division. When the teams have met at Rexall Place lately, however, the No. 1 team has been clear.

The Wild look to extend a seven-game unbeaten streak in Edmonton as they face the Oilers on Thursday.

Minnesota (16-12-2) has won four straight at Edmonton (16-12-2), and has five wins and two ties there since a 5-1 loss on Jan. 29, 2003. The Wild went 6-2-0 against the Oilers last season but finished 11 points behind them.

Minnesota, though, has lost five straight road games and has struggled away from home all season. The Wild are 4-9-1 on the road and have just one win in regulation.

"There's got to be a time here where we step up and decide what team we're going to be," Minnesota center Brian Rolston said. "I mean, how many games are we going to lose on the road? ... We can't make the playoffs if we're not .500 on the road. That simple."

Pascal Dupuis and Todd White scored for the Wild in a 5-2 loss Tuesday at Calgary. They are 0-4-1 during their road losing streak, getting outscored 23-13 in those games.

"If you don't work and skate you have no chance," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said.

Manny Fernandez started for the Wild but was replaced by Niklas Backstrom after allowing a goal at 3:35 of the second period. Fernandez surrendered four goals on 13 shots, and Backstrom finished with 15 saves.

Fernandez has allowed eight goals in his the last 39 shots he has faced.

Fernandez, however, went 5-1-0 with a 1.81 goals-against average in six games against Edmonton last season. He is 8-4-3 with a 2.04 GAA in 16 games against the Oilers.

Edmonton returns to Rexall after losing the final two games of a three-game road trip.

"It was frustrating," Oilers center Shawn Horcoff said. "But that's hockey. If you don't capitalize, it just works like that."

Edmonton lost 3-2 at Nashville on Tuesday after losing 4-1 to Chicago on Sunday. The Oilers won their previous three games with a stingy defense that conceded just one goal.

Marc-Andre Bergeron has scored two goals in his last three games, and Raffi Torres had a pair of assists to extend his points streak to five games, totaling two goals and four assists in that span.

Oilers forward Jarret Stoll also extended his points streak to five games with an assist in Tuesday's loss, and he has a goal and five assists in those contests.

Goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who played for the Wild for three-plus seasons before being dealt to the Oilers before last season's trade deadline, is 1-2-1 with a 2.22 GAA in four lifetime starts against Minnesota.

Oilers center Petr Sykora has one assist in his last four games, and has gone eight straight games without a goal. He leads the team with 16 assists and is second with 12 goals.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 05 '07EDM 0 at MIN 3M. Parrish
Apr 03 '07EDM 0 at MIN 3M. Koivu
Mar 15 '07MIN 2 at EDM 1M. Gaborik
Mar 01 '07MIN 5 at EDM 0P. Demitra
Feb 25 '07EDM 1 at MIN 4B. Burns
Jan 16 '07EDM 2 at MIN 1M. Bergeron
Jan 12 '07MIN 4 at EDM 2K. Carney
Dec 14 '06MIN 1 at EDM 3J. Stoll
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%