Final
  for this game

Hall, Oilers aim for rare win in Minnesota

Feb 22, 2011 - 4:14 PM
(Sports Network) - Rookie Taylor Hall has shown he can score goals in the NHL. Now he'll try to help Edmonton prove it can win in Minnesota.

Hall and the Oilers aim to halt a 14-game slide road losing streak to the Wild and match their longest winning streak of the season in this evening's contest at Xcel Energy Center.

The 19-year-old Hall is coming off his first career hat trick, scoring three straight power-play goals in Saturday's 5-3 victory over Atlanta. Hall's achievement helped Edmonton rally from a two-goal deficit.

"It's a great feeling anytime a player can get a hat trick and contribute to your team, but if we don't get those power plays and play strong as a group in the third, I don't get those goals," said Hall, the top pick of the 2010 draft who now has 20 goals on the season.

Ales Hemsky, named the league's Third Star for the week on Monday, added an empty-net tally and two assists and Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves for the Oilers, who improved to 4-28-5 when trailing after two periods for their third straight victory. They won a season-best four in a row from Nov. 29-Dec. 4.

The three-game winning streak helped Edmonton wrap a six-game homestand with a .500 record, but the club has dropped 10 of its last 13 on the road overall. That is almost as bad as the club has been in Minnesota, where it has lost 14 in a row since its last win there on Jan. 16, 2007.

That slide was extended with a 4-2 setback at Xcel Energy Center on Oct. 14 and the Wild have also won two games in Edmonton since then to give them a victory in six of the last eight meetings overall.

Hall is pointless in the three meetings this season, while Nikolai Khabibulin has been in net for each loss with a 3.75 goals-against average.

Tied with four other clubs for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference, the Wild can't afford to let the Oilers leave town with two points. Minnesota has lost three of its last four, but did gain a point last time with a 2-1 shootout setback to Detroit on Sunday.

Niklas Backstrom was strong with 38 saves, but he was bested twice in the tiebreaker. Martin Havlat scored Minnesota's lone goal in regulation.

"Pretty fast, pretty intense game," Minnesota head coach Todd Richards said. "Detroit is always impressive. I was impressed by the way we battled today. It was a great crowd. We earned a tough point today. Certainly it wasn't easy."

Backstrom has been in net for two of the three victories over the NHL-worst Oilers this season and is 16-2-1 with a 1.76 GAA versus them all-time.

Minnesota is 1-0-1 on a three-game homestand and has won five of its last seven as the host, but will conclude the residency without captain Mikko Koivu.

Koivu missed Sunday's game after suffering a broken finger in Friday's victory over Anaheim and is out indefinitely. Expected back before the end of the season, he has 15 goals and 34 assists this season.






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    Oilers 1, Wild 4  FinalFeb 23 12:46 PM


  • EDMONTON: 1
    MINNESOTA: 4
    Final

    Feb 22 10:33 PM


  • Minnesota Goal - Pierre-Marc Bouchard (6), at 14:33.

    Oilers 1, Wild 4  3rd - 5:27Feb 22 10:18 PM


  • Minnesota Power-Play Goal - Jared Spurgeon, from Marek Zidlicky at 6:32.

    Oilers 1, Wild 3  3rd - 13:28Feb 22 10:03 PM


  • Sam Gagner wrist shot is wide.

    Oilers 1, Wild 2  3rd - 18:07Feb 22 9:57 PM
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    Oilers 1, Wild 2  3rd - 18:07Feb 22 9:57 PM


  • EDMONTON: 1
    MINNESOTA: 1
    End of 2nd

    Feb 22 9:38 PM


  • Theo Peckham wrist shot on Niklas Backstrom.

    Oilers 1, Wild 1  2nd - 1:47Feb 22 9:36 PM
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    Oilers 1, Wild 1  2nd - 1:47Feb 22 9:36 PM


  • Matt Cullen slap shot is wide.

    Oilers 0, Wild 1  2nd - 3:00Feb 22 9:35 PM
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    Oilers 0, Wild 1  2nd - 3:00Feb 22 9:35 PM


  • Edmonton Goal - Kurtis Foster (4), at 17:36.

    Oilers 1, Wild 1  2nd - 2:24Feb 22 9:32 PM
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    Oilers 1, Wild 1  2nd - 2:24Feb 22 9:32 PM


  • Minnesota Goal - Martin Havlat (19), from Greg Zanon and Clayton Stoner at 9:23.

    Oilers 0, Wild 1  2nd - 10:37Feb 22 9:18 PM


  • EDMONTON: 0
    MINNESOTA: 0
    End of 1st

    Feb 22 8:40 PM


  • EDMONTON: 0
    MINNESOTA: 0
    1st Period - 20:00

    Feb 22 8:08 PM
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