Minnesota at Edmonton

Oilers rebound from awful thrashing to beat up Wild

CBSSports.com wire reports

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers followed their worst defensive game of the season -- and worst home loss ever -- with one of their best.

Dwayne Roloson made 29 saves, and Ales Hemsky, Ethan Moreau and Lubomir Visnovsky scored goals in the Oilers' 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

Edmonton rebounded from a 10-2 loss to Buffalo on Tuesday night with its sixth victory in eight games.

"It was a big game for us tonight, there's no question," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "That 10-2 game was hanging over our heads quite substantially. It was good to see the team play so well tonight."

The Oilers are in a four-way tie for fifth place in the Western Conference standings, two points ahead of Minnesota -- in a three-way tie for ninth.

"We really came out and battled," Roloson said. "We bounced back from a game that we can hopefully all forget about now. We played a full 60 minutes (Friday), probably one of our best games that we have played all year. Our guys played great."

James Sheppard scored for Minnesota.

"It really took us a while to get going," Sheppard said. "We picked it up late in the second and in the third. It was probably something mental. We just didn't have it together at the beginning of the game. We played well near the end, and there is a lot of good to take away, but there's a lot to fix as well when it comes to our mind-set."

The game started out with a fight just a minute and a half in as Oilers defenseman Steve Staios flattened Wild forward Stephane Veilleux with a mid-ice hit, leading to an extended tussle against Cal Clutterbuck.

"It was huge," MacTavish said about Staios' start. "It was the perfect response you could have from a veteran. When you talk to young kids about having savvy, that's having savvy ... to step up with the appropriate play under the circumstances and set the tone for everybody right from the start."

The Oilers opened the scoring 6 minutes in when Hemsky swung behind the goal line and banked the puck in off Wild goalie's Niklas Backstrom skate.

Edmonton had a bit of a scare midway through the first when Hemsky, who recently returned from a 10-game absence due to a concussion, was stapled to the boards on a hit from behind by Nick Schultz. Hemsky was face-down on the ice for a while before getting up and returning to the game a couple shifts later.

The Oilers took a two-goal lead with 3 to play in the opening period on Moreau's 100th goal as an Oiler. Edmonton made it 3-0 early in the third on Visnovsky's power-play goal. Following the goal, the Wild replaced Backstrom with Josh Harding.

Backstrom entered the game with a 10-0 record against Edmonton.

"He's played some incredible games against us," said Andrew Cogliano, who had two assists. "It's good to come out and play like we did and get him pulled. It's good for our confidence for sure."

Sheppard scored in the first minute of the third period.


  • Forward Dan Fritsche made his debut with the Wild after being acquired from the New York Rangers in a trade Thursday for defenseman Erik Reitz. Fritsche had a goal and three assists in 16 games for the Rangers this season.
  • Ryan Potulny was on the Oilers' second line after recently being recalled from Springfield. Potulny had three assists in four games in his previous stint with the big club.
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Cal Clutterbuck and Steve Staios drop the gloves and pound each other before getting separated. (AP)
Cal Clutterbuck and Steve Staios drop the gloves and pound each other before getting separated. (AP)
Minnesota (24-21-3)0011
Edmonton  (25-20-3) «2103
Three Stars
D. Roloson

Saves: 29
Save Pct.: .967
A. Cogliano

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
S. Staios

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
05:51Ales Hemsky (15), Tip-In. Assist: Grebeshkov, Horcoff
16:54Ethan Moreau (11), Snap Shot. Assist: Cogliano, Pouliot
03:00Power Play - Lubomir Visnovsky (8), Wrist Shot. Assist: Nilsson, Cogliano
38.0James Sheppard (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Bouchard, Schultz
Penalty Summary
01:31Clutterbuck, 5 min, Fighting
01:31Staios, 5 min, Fighting
06:17Moreau, 2 min, Hooking
10:22Schultz, 2 min, Boarding
16:56Boogaard, 5 min, Fighting
16:56MacIntyre, 5 min, Fighting
02:30Schultz, 2 min, Interference
03:23Zidlicky, 2 min, Hooking
05:19Johnsson, 2 min, Interference
15:18Zidlicky, 2 min, Slashing
08:32Nilsson, 2 min, Boarding
13:31Grebeshkov, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
Niklas Backstrom22:5183
Josh Harding35:40170
Dwayne Roloson59:56291
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 16839
Referees - Don Van Massenhoven, Brad Meier
Linesmen - Mike Cvik, Lyle Seitz
Other Games
Phi 6 Final
TB 1
Ott 0 Final
Colu 1
Nash 1 Final
Cal 3
Pitt 3 Final
NJ 4