NHL Game Summary - Edmonton at Minnesota
(Friday, January 2nd)
Final Score: Edmonton 2, Minnesota 1
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Ryan Smyth's shorthanded goal just nine seconds into the third period lifted the Edmonton Oilers to a 2-1 victory over Minnesota in the back end of a home-and-home at Xcel Energy Center.
With the win, the Oilers snapped Minnesota's club-record nine-game unbeaten streak (4-0-5), which included a 2-2 tie at Edmonton on Tuesday.
Raffi Torres also scored for the Oilers, who have just two wins in their last eight games (2-4-2). Tommy Salo stopped 24 shots, including all nine he faced in the third period.
Matt Johnson scored the lone Minnesota goal, while Dwayne Roloson made 16 saves on 18 shots.
Roloson faced just one shot in the second period, and was perhaps a bit rusty when his turnover to open the third led to a 2-1 Edmonton lead.
With Minnesota on a power play, Roloson misplayed the puck behind his net and it was picked up by Smyth, who wheeled around and scored with a backhand into an empty net for a shorthanded goal just nine seconds into the period.
The Wild had several good opportunities with an extra skater on the ice in the waning moments, but Salo stood his ground. One flurry in front of the net looked as though it might end in a Minnesota goal, but the Edmonton net came off its moorings and referees whistled the play dead.
The Oilers, who improved to 6-8-4 on the road, will visit Chicago Sunday for the second game of their six-game road trip.
They scored first in this one when Torres tallied his 10th of the season with 1:25 remaining in the first period. But Johnson tied the score for Minnesota at 16:07 of the second when he first screened, and then rebounded a point shot for his fifth of the season.
Edmonton is 13-3-4 in the all-time series, with a 7-1-1 mark in St. Paul...Minnesota didn't commit a penalty in this one, and went 0-for-2 on the power play...The Oilers were without captain Jason Smith, who sprained his left ankle in Tuesday's game...University of Pittsburgh wide receiver and Heisman trophy finalist Larry Fitzgerald, a Minneapolis native, was in attendance.
01/02 22:42:37 ET