for this game

Wild snap skid with win over Oilers

Dec 30, 2011 - 5:07 AM St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Dany Heatley scored the eventual game-winning goal late in the second period, as Minnesota put the brakes on an eight-game skid with a 4-3 decision over Edmonton at Xcel Energy Center.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Jarrod Palmer and Mikko Koivu also lit the lamp for the Wild, who last emerged victorious on December 10 at Phoenix.

Niklas Backstrom made 27 saves for the win, improving his home mark against Edmonton to an incredible 16-0-0.

"It's alright. There was a lot of emotion tonight to get that losing streak over with," Backstrom said. "In this game you have to play with a lot of emotion and when you do that good things happen. It feels like a playoff atmosphere because we've played these guys seemingly every week."

Shawn Horcoff, Taylor Hall and Ladislav Smid tallied for the Oilers, who have dropped eight of their last 10.

Nikolai Khabibulin was pulled after two periods for giving up four goals on 19 shots. Devan Dubnyk stopped all eight shots he faced in the third.

The Wild tallied three times in the middle period to take control.

Palmer's first of the season -- a wrister from the right wing just after the midway point -- put Minnesota up 2-1. Bouchard made it a two-goal margin only 19 seconds later, beating Khabibulin to the short side from the right circle.

Smid came back for the visitors at 14:40 on a redirection of a Hall dish, but Heatley answered in a span of 1:24 for a 4-2 contest.

Marek Zidlicky did most of the work, carrying down the right wing, then around the Edmonton net before pushing the puck through the slot where Heatley tipped it home.

Horcoff pulled Edmonton within a goal at 6:40 of the third period, and the Oilers failed to click with a 6-on-4 advantage in the final 1:23 of regulation after an interference penalty to Justin Falk.

Hall struck for the visitors just 1:24 after the opening faceoff, but Koivu countered with just over six minutes left in the period.

"I think we've had a lot of one-goal losses this season, a lot of games where we do a lot of good things and the wins piled up, but now the losses are piling up," Hall said. "We still have a lot of games left this season, and if we can play well, we have a good shot at improving our record."

Game Notes

Minnesota's last home win came on November 28 against Tampa Bay...The Wild took the season series, 4-2-0, winning two of three on home ice, and have beaten the Oilers in 10 of the last 12 meetings...Edmonton has dropped eight of its 11 December games.


    Dec 29 10:37 PM
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    Oilers 3, Wild 4  3rd - 4:51Dec 29 10:29 PM

  • Edmonton Goal - Shawn Horcoff, at 6:40.

    Oilers 3, Wild 4  3rd - 13:20Dec 29 10:13 PM
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    Oilers 3, Wild 4  3rd - 13:20Dec 29 10:13 PM

    End of 2nd

    Dec 29 9:41 PM

    2nd Period - 4:22

    Oilers 2, Wild 4  2nd - 4:22Dec 29 9:36 PM

  • Jeff Petry shot blocked by Cal Clutterbuck.

    Oilers 2, Wild 3  2nd - 4:56Dec 29 9:35 PM

  • Minnesota Goal - Pierre-Marc Bouchard (8), at 10:21.

    Oilers 1, Wild 3  2nd - 9:39Dec 29 9:22 PM

  • Minnesota Goal - Jarod Palmer, at 10:02.

    Oilers 1, Wild 2  2nd - 9:58Dec 29 9:22 PM
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    Oilers 1, Wild 1  2nd - 11:07Dec 29 9:20 PM

    End of 1st

    Dec 29 8:48 PM

  • Minnesota Goal - Mikko Koivu (9), from Marek Zidlicky at 13:47.

    Oilers 1, Wild 1  1st - 6:13Dec 29 8:36 PM
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    Oilers 1, Wild 1  1st - 6:13Dec 29 8:36 PM

  • Edmonton Goal - Taylor Hall (10), at 1:24.

    Oilers 1, Wild 0  1st - 18:36Dec 29 8:10 PM

    1st Period - 20:00

    Dec 29 8:08 PM
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    Oilers vs. WildJun 24 6:02 AM