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Edmonton
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25-45-12
Minnesota
Wild
39-35-8

21 SOG
23 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
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game recap

Oilers struggle in third period, lose 4-1 to Wild

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 2:49 AM

Jen Sharpe - edmontonoilers.com

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Oilers struggle in third period, lose 4-1 to Wild
Edmonton Oilers 1, Minnesota Wild 4

After a scoreless first and evenly-matched second, the Oilers struggled in the third period, surrendering three goals enroute to a 4-1 loss to the Wild Tuesday night. Kurtis Foster scored Edmonton's lone goal, while Nikolai Khabibulin finished the game with 19 saves.

Under the Scope

FIRST PERIOD

Only 16 seconds after opening puck drop, the Oilers were put on the disadvantage when Taylor Chorney was called for cross-checking. Edmonton excelled on the penalty kill, testing Niklas Backstrom with two shorthanded shots without allowing a single Minnesota attempt.

The two-minute stretch didn't go completely smoothly, however. The second before Chorney left the penalty box, defenceman Tom Gilbert blocked a shot with his face and dropped to the ice. After receiving an on-ice assessment from head athletic therapist T.D. Forss, the Minnesota native got to his feet and skated back to the bench unaided. He was ready to go on his following shift.

Near the five-minute mark, another infraction, this time to Andrew Cogliano for tripping, put the Oilers back on the penalty kill. During the Wild power-play, Khabibulin turned away his first shot and Ryan Jones made a painful-looking block with his right ankle to keep the game scoreless. Like Gilbert, Jones was soon good to go again.

At 11:48, the power-play tables turned and Edmonton benefited from two man-advantages of their own. Penalty-killers continued to dominate, however, and the opening goal remained elusive. After 20 minutes, the Oilers led the shot count 8-5.

SECOND PERIOD

At the 5:55 mark of the second, Wild forward Andrew Brunette was charged with a slashing minor after severing Ladislav Smid's stick in the defensive zone. Late in the power-play, a collision between Cal Clutterbuck and Chorney sent the young Oiler limping to the dressing room. Oilers staff later confirmed he suffered a right knee injury and would not return to the game.

The scoreless stalemate was shattered near the game's midway point. After receiving a stretch pass on the blue line, Martin Havlat slipped through an opening, descended in on Khabibulin, and cleanly beat the goaltender to give the Wild a 1-0 lead.

With just under five minutes remaining in the frame, Edmonton came close to tying it up. Poised with a juicy rebound on his stick, Jones fired on a wide-open net only to watch Backstrom steal the moment by making a miraculous mid-air glove save.

But the Oilers soon matched that performance with equally impressive plays at both ends of the ice. Not to be outdone by his goaltending counterpart, Khabibulin did a stellar job of dissolving a Wild swarm to keep his club within one. Linus Omark and Sam Gagner then led a rush the other way, but defenceman Foster emerged the offensive hero as the snapped home a drop-pass to tie the game at one heading into the third period.

THIRD PERIOD

The Oilers maintained a slim shot lead early in the final frame but the Wild quickly regained the lead where it counts. 1:28 into the period, former Oiler Kyle Brodziak beat Khabibulin with a crisp backhander, setting the score 2-1.

Four minutes later, Theo Peckham offered the Wild their third power-play by taking a holding minor, and one minute after that, Jared Spurgeon fired a slapshot through a screen and into the net, doubling his club's lead.

A flurry of penalties resulted in alternating man-advantages, including a 91-second five-on-three for Edmonton, as the period continued. The Oilers managed four shots on the power-plays but Backstrom stopped them all.

Buoyed by the successful penalty kill, the Wild wasted no time getting back on the attack. At 14:33, Pierre-Marc Bouchard received a pass from Clutterbuck, broke in on Khabibulin, and thrilled fans with a successful spin-o-rama that put his club up 4-1.

At that point, the frustrated Oilers got caught up in fisticuffs. In front of the visiting bench, Jean-Francois Jacques and Brad Staubitz participated in a quick scrap, netting roughing minors and game misconducts for both players. In addition, the Wild bench took a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct, offering the Oilers their sixth power-play. The man-advantage passed without a goal.

Edmonton's late efforts failed to close the goal gap and the team's three-game winning streak concluded with a 4-1 loss in Minnesota.

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
09:23
MIN
Marty Havlat (19) ASST: Greg Zanon (4), Clayton Stoner (3)
1 - 0 MIN
17:37
EDM
Kurtis Foster (4) ASST: Linus Omark (13), Sam Gagner (24)
1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period
01:28
MIN
Kyle Brodziak (13) ASST: Nick Schultz (13), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (16)
2 - 1 MIN
06:33
MIN
PPG - Jared Spurgeon (1) ASST: Marek Zidlicky (17), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (17)
3 - 1 MIN
14:33
MIN
Pierre-Marc Bouchard (6) ASST: Cal Clutterbuck (12), John Madden (10)
4 - 1 MIN
penalty summary
1st Period
00:16
EDM
Taylor Chorney  Cross checking against  Eric Nystrom
04:55
EDM
Andrew Cogliano  Tripping against  Matt Cullen
11:48
MIN
Cam Barker  Tripping against  Taylor Hall
14:14
MIN
Clayton Stoner  Tripping against  Taylor Hall
2nd Period
05:55
MIN
Andrew Brunette  Slashing against  Ladislav Smid
3rd Period
05:26
EDM
Theo Peckham  Holding against  Andrew Brunette
10:07
EDM
Jean-Francois Jacques  Hi-sticking against  Eric Nystrom
11:39
MIN
Brent Burns  Holding against  Ryan Jones
12:09
MIN
Marek Zidlicky  Holding against  Dustin Penner
15:17
EDM
Jean-Francois Jacques  Roughing against  Brad Staubitz
15:17
EDM
Jean-Francois Jacques  Misconduct against  Brad Staubitz
15:17
MIN
Brad Staubitz  Charging against  Jean-Francois Jacques
15:17
MIN
Brad Staubitz  Misconduct against  Jean-Francois Jacques
15:17
MIN
Pierre-Marc Bouchard  Delay of game
goalie stats
Nikolai Khabibulin
SA: 23TOI: 59:58
Saves: 19EV: 13 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 4
SV%: .826SH: 3 - 3
Niklas Backstrom
Niklas Backstrom
20-13-4
SA: 21TOI: 59:58
Saves: 20EV: 13 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .952SH: 2 - 2