Minnesota at Edmonton

Belanger sets up all four goals in Wild's win over Oilers


EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Minnesota Wild maintained their recent mastery of the Edmonton Oilers.

Eric Belanger had a career-high four assists to help Minnesota snap a two-game losing skid with a 4-2 win over the Oilers on Thursday.

Martin Skoula, Marian Gaborik, Kurtis Foster and Mark Parrish scored for the Wild (10-6-2), who earned their first victory in six tries on the road and improved to 8-0-1 in their past nine matchups with Edmonton.

"For some reason, it seems to happen that you just have a team's number," Parrish said. "I don't really know why. You get wins that sometimes you don't even really deserve.

"Our power play came up with a pair of big goals and our penalty killing was good tonight. Otherwise we just got the bounces," he said.

Wild captain Brian Rolston agreed.

"I don't think we were as sharp as we should have been tonight and I think it was a good thing we caught them playing for the second night in a row," he said. "But the two points is two points and it was a win we needed."

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Oilers (7-11-1), who remain two points back of both Calgary and Vancouver for third place in the Northwest Division.

Jarret Stoll had both goals for the Oilers, who outshot Minnesota 40-25.

"Two goals as a team is not enough with that many shots," Stoll said. "We have to find ways to score and bear down a little bit. We need the rebounds and screens and all those things. You're not going to snipe it from 30 feet out all the time. You have to get dirty and get the garbage goals, and that's what we're missing.

"It's disappointing because it was all there for us."

Oilers coach Craig MacTavish is tired of his team not winning close games.

"We've been close in a lot of games and can take some satisfaction from that I guess, but I'm passed that point now," he said. "We're creating the opportunities but we're not putting the puck in the back of the net. That's the way you win hockey games."

MacTavish said he needs to get stronger performances from goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who fell to 3-9-1 on the season and is starting to be outplayed by backup Mathieu Garon.

"He's not playing at the level he has played, that's obvious," MacTavish said. "We can't win right now with average goaltending. I don't think there are many teams that can. In my estimation tonight he was average."

Minnesota opened the scoring 4:45 into the first period as Skoula's point shot deflected off Edmonton defender Allan Rourke in front and past Roloson.

Edmonton tied it 1-1 early in the second as Ales Hemsky stole a puck from Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, took it around the net and took a shot that bounced out to Stoll. His backhand beat a diving Backstrom for his second goal of the season.

Stoll got his third of the season 6 minutes later while short-handed as Mikko Koivu lost the puck at the point and Stoll broke away with it was able to slide the puck between Backstrom's legs.

But the Wild tied it at 2 on the same power play just 48 seconds later as Belanger made a nifty backhand pass to Gaborik who knocked his fifth of the season into the open net.

Minnesota took a 3-2 lead in the second as Foster beat Roloson high with a power-play point shot with just 48 seconds remaining.

Josh Harding replaced Backstrom to start the third period. Backstrom, who has struggled with a groin injury this season, remained on the Minnesota bench.


  • Wingers Marian Gaborik and Stephane Veilleux returned to the lineup for Minnesota.
  • Skoula's first-period goal was his first in 113 games. The last time he scored on March 13, 2006, was also against Edmonton.
Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Eric Belanger (2nd left) has a hand in every Wild goal for a career-best four assists in a game. (AP)
Eric Belanger (2nd left) has a hand in every Wild goal for a career-best four assists in a game. (AP)
Minnesota  (10-6-2) «1214
Edmonton (6-11-1)0202
Three Stars
E. Belanger

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 4
J. Stoll

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
M. Gaborik

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

September 21, 2017
2017-18 NHL Preview: Minnesota Wild (1:00)
August 16, 2017
Matt Cullen set to return for 20th NHL season
April 9, 2017
2017 NHL Playoff Picture
March 13, 2017
NHL Power Rankings (3/12)
Scoring Summary
04:45Martin Skoula (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Eric Belanger, Branko Radivojevic
05:23Jarret Stoll (2), Backhand Shot. Assist: Ales Hemsky
11:55Short - Jarret Stoll (3), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
12:43Power Play - Marian Gaborik (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Eric Belanger, Mark Parrish
19:12Power Play - Kurtis Foster (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Eric Belanger
57.0Mark Parrish (7), Snap Shot. Assist: Marian Gaborik, Eric Belanger
Penalty Summary
05:37Sheppard, 2 min, Hooking
09:33Schultz, 2 min, Slashing
11:45Hemsky, 2 min, High-Sticking
14:25Gaborik, 2 min, Tripping
18:31Staios, 2 min, Roughing
11:17Nilsson, 2 min, Holding
13:12Veilleux, 2 min, Tripping
14:25Torres, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
19:05Cogliano, 2 min, Interference
09:46Smid, 2 min, Hooking
11:39Cogliano, 2 min, Hooking
13:06Sheppard, 2 min, Holding
19:33Tarnstrom, 2 min, Holding
19:43Staios, 2 min, Slashing
Shots On Goal
Niklas Backstrom39:53242
Josh Harding20:00140
Dwayne Roloson58:20214
Game Information
Attendance - 16839
Referees - Rob Martell, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen - Shane Heyer, Andy McElman
Other Games
Buf 2 Final
Ott 3
NYR 4 Final
Phi 3
Ana 6 Final
LA 3
SJ 6 Final
Pho 0
Chi 4 Final
Nash 5
NYI 2 Final
Pitt 3
Wash 1 Final
Fla 2
Tor 2 Final
Bos 5