NHL Game Summary - Edmonton at Minnesota
(Tuesday, January 16th)
Final Score: Edmonton 2, Minnesota 1
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Dwayne Roloson made 28 saves and Marc-Andre Bergeron netted the game-winning goal midway through the second period, as the Edmonton Oilers gained two key standings points with a 2-1 win over Minnesota in a tight Northwest Division battle at Xcel Energy Center.
Joffrey Lupul was credited with his 13th goal of the season for the Oilers, who stopped a two-game skid. Fourth-place Edmonton now sits three points behind the third-place Wild, who trail first-place Vancouver by two points. A total of just six standings points separates the first and last (Colorado) teams in the Northwest.
"Now we are three points back, that's a big difference," said Edmonton's Shawn Horcoff. "There is a lot of hockey left to be played and you can't get caught too far behind (in the standings). It is just too hard to make up points in February and March."
Wes Walz tallied the only goal for the Wild, who saw their three-game win streak halted. Prior to those three victories, the Wild had lost a franchise- record 11 consecutive games.
Manny Fernandez, who formerly teamed with Roloson in Minnesota's fairly effective two-goaltender system, allowed two goals on 18 shots in the losing effort.
The Oilers used power-play goals in both the first and second period to take control.
With 2:29 remaining in the first period, the Oilers opened the scoring. With Brent Burns in the penalty box for tripping, the visitors set up in the offensive zone and Petr Nedved passed to Lupul near the left post. Lupul then attempted a cross-crease pass, but the puck deflected off the skate of Minnesota defenseman Martin Skoula and passed a surprised Fernandez.
With 13:19 to play in the middle session, the Wild gained a 5-on-3 advantage and nearly tied the score. Mark Parrish had a great chance with a one-timer in the slot, but Roloson made the pad save.
"We felt we were playing great, but it was just one of those nights," said Wild forward Brian Rolston. "Roloson made some really big saves."
Soon after, the Oilers grabbed a two-goal lead with their second power-play marker. Petr Sykora held control along the left half-wall and fed the puck back to the centerpoint, where a one-timer by Bergeron -- with the assistance of a screen in front by Ryan Smyth -- lit the lamp at the 11:45 mark.
Minnesota registered 11 shots on goal in the second period and gained four power-play chances, but Roloson stood tall and preserved the two-goal lead.
Walz' eighth goal at the 12:05 mark of the final period cut the Minny deficit in half. Marian Gaborik sent a pass from behind the left side of the net across the top of the crease, where Walz ripped home a one-timer from beneath the right circle.
From there, though, the Edmonton defense clamped down and Roloson made several key saves down the stretch as the Oilers held on for the one-goal victory.
Wild forward Todd White suffered a lower right leg injury in the first period and did not return...Despite the loss, the Wild are 17-5-2 at home in 2006-07...The Calgary Flames, with 52 points, are sandwiched in second place in the division between the Wild and the Canucks...Edmonton will open a five- game homestand on Thursday against Anaheim...The Wild ended scoreless on six chances with the extra skater...Attendance was 18,568.
01/16 23:42:55 ET