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Oilers
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Visnovsky helps Oilers drill Backstrom, Wild

Jan 31, 2009 - 6:13 AM
EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) -- The Edmonton Oilers finally figured out Niklas Backstrom.

Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky chased Backstrom from the game with a power-play goal early in the second period as the Oilers skated to a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

Dwayne Roloson made 28 saves and Andrew Cogliano collected two assists for Edmonton, which defeated Backstrom for the first time in 13 tries.

"(Backstrom) has played some incredible games against us," Cogliano said. "It's good to come out and play like we did and get him pulled."

Ales Hemsky and captain Ethan Moreau also scored for the Oilers, who bounced back from their worst home loss in franchise history - a 10-2 thrashing at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

James Sheppard tallied for the Wild, who had won four of their previous six contests.

"We just didn't have it together at the beginning of the game. It took a while to get going," Sheppard said. "It was probably something mental. We knew that they had lost, 10-2, the other night. But it's important that we don't let that stuff get in our heads."

Backstrom, who entered with three shutouts and a 10-0-0 career record against Edmonton, looked nothing like an All-Star in this one. The Finn stopped just eight of the 11 shots he faced before being replaced by Josh Harding.

"To get some confidence against him is huge," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "He's a good goalie - his save percentage is awesome. I thought we drove the net pretty hard on him tonight."

Edmonton defenseman Steve Staios began the game by picking a fight with rookie Cal Clutterbuck just 91 seconds after the opening faceoff, raising the Oilers' energy after Tuesday's embarrassing loss.

"Stevie's shift really set the tone for us tonight," Moreau said. "There were a bunch of guys who were just (ticked) off and ready to back up their words from the last few days. It was inspiring."

Hemsky backed up Staios' fists a few minutes later, executing a give-and-go with blue-liner Denis Grebeshkov after Shawn Horcoff won a faceoff in the offensive zone. Hemsky fired a bad-angle wrist shot past Backstrom at 5:51 of the first period for his 15th goal of the season.

Moreau doubled the advantage with 3:06 left in the period, netting his 11th tally of the campaign and 100th as an Oiler.

Visnovsky ended Backstrom's night exactly three minutes into the middle session.

With Wild defenseman Nick Schultz in the penalty box for interference, Visnovsky skated into the slot between all four defenders and unleashed a quick wrist shot that Backstrom stopped. But the Slovakian managed to bang in his own rebound for his eighth goal and a 3-0 bulge.

Harding stopped all 17 shots he faced.

"We thought before the third that if we could just get the first goal quickly, we'd really get going, and we did - but just not quick enough," said Sheppard, who scored 38 seconds into the final period to prevent a shutout.






  • 10
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Wild 1, Oilers 3  FinalJan 31 9:57 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0 1 1
    EDMONTON 2 1 0 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: EDM - ALES HEMSKY 15 (DENIS GREBESHKOV, SHAWN HORCOFF) 5:51
    EDM - ETHAN MOREAU 11 (ANDREW COGLIANO, MARC POULIOT) 16:54
    2ND PRD: EDM - (PP) LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY 8 (ROBERT NILSSON, ANDREW
    COGLIANO) 3:00
    3RD PRD: MIN - JA

    Jan 30 11:33 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    EDMONTON 3
    3RD PRD: MIN - JAMES SHEPPARD 4 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD) 0:38

    Wild 1, Oilers 3  3rd - 19:22Jan 30 10:58 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0
    EDMONTON 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: EDM - ALES HEMSKY 15 (DENIS GREBESHKOV, SHAWN HORCOFF) 5:51
    EDM - ETHAN MOREAU 11 (ANDREW COGLIANO, MARC POULIOT) 16:54
    2ND PRD: EDM - (PP) LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY 8 (ROBERT NILSSON, ANDREW
    COGLIANO) 3:00
    SHOT

    Jan 30 10:40 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 0
    EDMONTON 3
    2ND PRD: EDM - (PP) LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY 8 (ROBERT NILSSON, ANDREW
    COGLIANO) 3:00

    Wild 0, Oilers 3  2nd - 17:00Jan 30 10:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0
    EDMONTON 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: EDM - ALES HEMSKY 15 (DENIS GREBESHKOV, SHAWN HORCOFF) 5:51
    EDM - ETHAN MOREAU 11 (ANDREW COGLIANO, MARC POULIOT) 16:54
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 11

    Jan 30 9:49 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 0
    EDMONTON 2
    1ST PRD: EDM - ETHAN MOREAU 11 (ANDREW COGLIANO, MARC POULIOT) 16:54

    Wild 0, Oilers 2  1st - 3:06Jan 30 9:40 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 0
    EDMONTON 1
    1ST PRD: EDM - ALES HEMSKY 15 (DENIS GREBESHKOV, SHAWN HORCOFF) 5:51

    Wild 0, Oilers 1  1st - 14:09Jan 30 9:19 PM