|EDM||0||1||1||(0 - 0)||2|
|MIN||2||2||0||(0 - 0)||4|
Tom Gilbert had a goal and an assist and the Oilers outshot Minnesota decisively by a count of 35 to 22 but it wasn't enough as the Wild held on to defeat Edmonton 4-2 at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul on Thursday night.
Linus Omark scored the other goal for the Oilers.
Edmonton carried the play in the early going, outshooting Minnesota 4 to 1 over the first seven minutes of the game. However, it was the Oilers' Theo Peckham that got the game's first penalty. Peckham was sent off for tripping.
34 seconds into the man advantage, the Wild struck for a goal to take a 1-0 lead. Matt Cullen's shot from the left circle was deflected in front of the net by Antti Miettinen past Khabibulin for the goal.
35 seconds after the opening marker, Minnesota struck again to take a 2-0 lead. Pierre-Marc Bouchard had the puck behind the Oilers net before centering it in front to a pinching Marek Zidlicky in the slot. Zidlicky made no mistake, one-timing it in for the two-goal edge.
Edmonton returned to the box 23 seconds after the goal after a slashing penalty by Jordan Eberle.
With eight minutes to play in the opening frame, Miettinen clipped Ryan Jones with a high stick to put Edmonton on a four-minute power play with a chance to get back in the game.
During the five-on-four, Tom Gilbert nearly scored the Oilers' first of the night. He deked around Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom and had an open cage but couldn't jam it in. Neither could Ryan Jones who was perched in the crease during the scramble in front.
Heading back the other way, Khabibulin came up huge on a pair of saves, diving to deny John Madden on the rush. A third attempt by Madden was blocked by Gilbert.
After 20 minutes of play, shots on goal were 9-9 but Minnesota had a 2-0 lead.
The first five shots on goal in the middle frame were all Edmonton's but the sixth shot on goal was Minnesota and it extended the Wild's lead.
Brad Staubitz, John Madden and Eric Nystrom skated in on the three-man rush with Nystrom flipping the puck over to Staubitz whose shot just squeeked through Khabibulin and barely over the goal line to give the Wild a 3-0 lead.
Minnesota's lead increased to 4-0 with 6:47 to play in the middle frame. Martin Havlat teed up a shot from the top of the left circle that beat Khabibulin glove side.
Late in the period, Peckham, Ryan O'Marra and Jones skated in on a three-on-one while the Oilers were shorthanded. O'Marra passed it across the slot to Jones but it just skipped over his stick. Peckham was clipped with a high stick on the play, sending Miettinen to the box and putting Edmonton back on the power play for the third time tonight.
With 28 seconds to go in the man advantage, the Oilers finally scored one to narrow the gap to three. Tom Gilbert teed up a blast from the left point that made its way through a screen and into the back of the net to make it a 4-1 game. Jones and Paajarvi got the helpers.
Shots on goal after two periods of play were 22 to 19 in favour of Edmonton.
Liam Reddox nearly made it a two-goal game and nearly ended his two-year NHL goal-scoring drought as he was set up with a great pass by Brule. He came in all alone and attempted to deke out Backstrom but the Wild netminder just got a toe on the puck.
With 8:50 to go in the game, Mikko Koivu was sent off for upending Jones to give the Oilers a man advantage. With 10 seconds left in that power play, Kyle Brodziak hooked Linus Omark to set up a two-man advantage.
The Oilers managed several shots on goal during the man-power advantages but could not convert. Minnesota's parade to the penalty box continued with a Brent Burns slashing penalty while 26 seconds remained on the Brodziak minor.
Right after the Brodziak penalty expired, Linus Omark wired a shot from the dot of the right faceoff circle up and over the shoulder of Backstrom to make it a 4-2 game. The goal was Omark's first since January 25.
Edmonton had a 13 to 3 shot advantage in the final frame but could not close the gap.
|PPG - Antti Miettinen (15) Tip-in - ASST: Matt Cullen (27), Andrew Brunette (26)|
1 - 0 MIN
|Marek Zidlicky (7) Snap shot - ASST: Pierre-Marc Bouchard (23), Kyle Brodziak (19)|
2 - 0 MIN
|Brad Staubitz (2) Snap shot - ASST: Eric Nystrom (7), John Madden (13)|
3 - 0 MIN
|Martin Havlat (22) Slapshot - ASST: Chuck Kobasew (6), Brent Burns (28)|
4 - 0 MIN
|PPG - Tom Gilbert (6) Slapshot - ASST: Ryan Jones (6), Magnus Paajarvi (18)|
4 - 1 MIN
|PPG - Linus Omark (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Tom Gilbert (20), Jim Vandermeer (12)|
4 - 2 MIN
|Theo Peckham Tripping against Andrew Brunette|
|Jordan Eberle Slashing against John Madden|
|Antti Miettinen Hi stick - double minor against Ryan Jones|
|Theo Peckham Roughing against Pierre-Marc Bouchard|
|Pierre-Marc Bouchard Slashing against Theo Peckham|
|Jim Vandermeer Cross checking against Antti Miettinen|
|Chris VandeVelde Holding against Martin Havlat|
|Antti Miettinen Hi-sticking against Theo Peckham|
|Mikko Koivu Tripping against Ryan Jones|
|Kyle Brodziak Hooking against Linus Omark|
|Brent Burns Slashing against Gilbert Brule|
|Ladislav Smid Interference against Matt Cullen|
|Gilbert Brule Tripping against Cal Clutterbuck|
|SA: 22||TOI: 59:01|
|Saves: 18||EV: 6 - 9|
|PIM: 0||PP: 9 - 10|
|SV%: .818||SH: 3 - 3|
|SA: 35||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 33||EV: 26 - 26|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 7|
|SV%: .943||SH: 2 - 2|