NHL Game Summary - Edmonton at Minnesota
(Thursday, January 15th)
Final Score: Minnesota 5, Edmonton 1
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Pierre-Marc Bouchard notched a goal and two assists and the Minnesota Wild posted a 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers in the first meeting of the season between these Northwest Division rivals from Xcel Energy Center.
Niklas Backstrom stopped 20-of-21 shots to earn his 21st win of the season while Krystofer Kolanos, Cal Clutterbuck, Brent Burns and Eric Belanger each got goals in the win.
The Wild halted a two-game slide the last time out and improved to 2-0 on their three-game homestand, concluding Saturday versus Anaheim.
"We're scoring goals again which is good," Wild forward James Sheppard said. "There were a lot of times when we gave up pucks. We can do better."
Liam Reddox scored the lone goal for the Oilers, who had a modest two-game win streak come to an end. Dwayne Roloson was victimized for five goals on 24 shots in the loss.
"All divisional games for us are big," Edmonton defenseman Steve Staios said. "We're a team that needs to get some wins, so we're going to have turn the page on this one quickly."
Edmonton fell to 1-1 on its three-game road trip, having started the trek with a 5-2 decision over Southeast Division-leading Washington on Tuesday. The club wraps up its road trip in Colorado on Friday.
The Wild got things started 6:25 into the game as Antti Miettinen sent the puck in front for a tip-in off the stick of Kolanos.
Reddox was able to tie the game by stuffing in a loose puck following a scrum in the crease at 11:44 but Minnesota responded and took a 2-1 lead with 1:05 remaining.
Bouchard gained the offensive zone and dished off to Sheppard at the left circle. Sheppard slid the puck across to Clutterbuck in the slot for a rising wrister over the shoulder of Roloson.
Backstrom allowed the lead to hold up turning aside each of Edmonton's six second-period shots while Roloson equaled the effort of his counterpart, holding the Wild off the scoreboard.
Bouchard capitalized on some careless play from Edmonton in its own zone and made it a 3-1 game in the third with a booming slap shot after pouncing on an errant pass in the slot.
Some deft skating from Mikko Koivu produced a three-goal advantage late in the third that would help carry the Wild to an easy victory. Koivu carried the puck up the right boards and split a pair of Edmonton defenders at the blue- line, creating a 2-on-1 with Burns, whose one-timer beat Roloson from in close.
A frustrated Edmonton squad took some chippy penalties down the stretch and Belanger added a power-play goal to account for the final score.
The Wild won five of eight encounters with the Oilers a season ago, including all four meetings held at the Xcel Energy Center...Edmonton has lost eight straight times (0-7-1) in Minnesota and has recorded a mere 10 goals over that span...The Oilers are sporting a 12-11-0 record as the visitor this year...The Wild are 13-7-3 as the host this season.
01/15 23:11:59 ET