Minnesota at Edmonton

Loss to Wild ninth consecutive for struggling Oilers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Minnesota Wild didn't need to be at their best to beat the plummeting Edmonton Oilers.

Marian Gaborik scored an insurance goal 7:22 into the third period and the Wild held on for a 2-1 victory Thursday night that sent the Oilers' to their ninth straight loss. Mark Parrish also scored for the Wild, who led 2-0 and won their fifth consecutive game.

"We got a little lucky with the intensity we showed," Parrish said. "We got lucky in the first two periods after coming out flat. We're happy with the two points, but we're not happy with the effort we put forth. We've got to play a lot harder than that down the stretch."

Robert Nilsson -- in his Oilers debut -- had the lone goal for Edmonton, which has been outscored 34-7 during its skid that matches the second longest in club history. The Oilers have dropped eight straight since dealing Ryan Smyth to the New York Islanders at the NHL trade deadline.

"We're just not getting any breaks around the net," coach Craig MacTavish said. "But I was pretty happy with the way we played. We were in good position but we just couldn't get the offense again.

"But a lot of the guys we have in here are doing very well under the circumstances."

Minnesota moved five points ahead of eighth-place Calgary in the Western Conference standings. But with the Oilers missing 11 players due to illness and injuries, the Wild felt as though they should've had an easier win.

"Obviously they had a lot of guys out of their lineup and it was important that we didn't allow them to lull us to sleep," Wild forward Brian Rolston said. "I thought in the third period we did a better job and (Niklas) Backstrom was solid for us in net.

"This was a huge win for us. You can't take anybody lightly at this time of the season or you are going to be in trouble and I don't think we did even though we didn't start well."

Minnesota took a 1-0 lead 11:26 into the first period when Mikko Koivu hit Parrish with a long pass that went past Edmonton defenseman Matt Greene. Parrish beat goalie Dwayne Roloson for his 17th goal of the season.

The Wild seemed content to sit on their lead through a scoreless second period, with Edmonton holding a 6-3 edge in shots. Both teams had 16 shots heading into the third.

But just over seven minutes into the final frame, Pavel Demitra found Gaborik with a pass from behind the net and the Slovakian forward scored his 24th goal.

Edmonton ended Backstrom's shutout bid with 3:57 remaining in the period. Backstrom stopped Patrick Thoresen's shot but the rebound went to Nilsson for the goal.

"To get a goal in your first game, that's a heck of a feeling," Nilsson said. "That's pretty special. It's too bad it couldn't have been part of a win, too."


  • Nilsson was recalled from the minors on an emergency basis to replace Shawn Horcoff (flu). Nilsson, the son of former Oilers and Calgary star Kent Nilsson, was acquired from the Islanders in the Smyth deal. He had 10 points in seven games with Wilkes-Barre of the AHL after joining the Oilers organization.
  • The Wild are .500 on the road (18-18-3) for the first time this season after starting 4-15-1 away from home.
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Marian Gaborik's goal turns out to be decisive in helping the Wild to five straight wins. (AP)
Marian Gaborik's goal turns out to be decisive in helping the Wild to five straight wins. (AP)
Minnesota  (41-24-7) «1012
Edmonton (30-35-6)0011
Three Stars
M. Gaborik

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
R. Nilsson

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
N. Backstrom

Saves: 22
Save Pct.: .957

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Scoring Summary
11:26Mark Parrish (17), Wrist Shot - Assists: Mikko Koivu, Adam Hall
07:22Marian Gaborik (24), Backhand Shot - Assists: Pavol Demitra, Petteri Nummelin
16:03Robert Nilsson, Wrist Shot - Assists: Patrick Thoresen, Marc-Antoine Pouliot
Penalty Summary
01:14Foster: Interference - 2 min.
01:18Veilleux: Hooking - 2 min.
11:22Young: Hooking - 2 min.
16:36Schultz: Delay of Game - 2 min.
08:13Gaborik: Hooking - 2 min.
08:13Schultz: Roughing - 2 min.
08:13Schultz: Roughing - 2 min.
08:13Torres: Roughing - 2 min.
08:13Torres: Roughing - 2 min.
10:21Koivu: Holding - 2 min.
11:15Nilsson: Interference with goal tender. - 2 min.
Niklas Backstrom60:00221
Dwayne Roloson58:59252
Game Information
Attendance - 16839
Referees - Justin St. Pierre, Brad Watson
Linesmen - Mike Cvik, Mark Wheler
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Van 3
SJ 5 Final
Pho 1
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