NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, March 22nd
(All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (35-27-9) at Minnesota Wild (33-30-8), 3 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers will try for their first four-game
winning streak since the early stages of the season when they visit the
struggling Minnesota Wild for today's Northwest Division battle at Xcel Energy
The Oilers have won three in a row on six separate occasions this year, but
the club's longest winning streak came over five months ago with victories in
the first four games of the season.
Edmonton is currently in possession of the seventh playoff seed in the Western
Conference with 79 points on the year. The Wild have 74 points and are tied
with Anaheim and Dallas for the 10th seed,. Minnesota is still just three
points behind Nashville for the West's eighth and final postseason berth.
The Oilers, who had lost three in a row and five of six prior to their current
streak, are coming off Friday's close victory in Chicago. Patrick O'Sullivan
scored the game-winner in the shootout as Edmonton downed the Blackhawks, 5-4,
at the United Center.
After Jonathan Toews was stopped by Dwayne Roloson, O'Sullivan lifted the puck
over Nikolai Khabibulin. Patrick Kane was then denied his stuff attempt from
the left side and Ales Kotalik sealed the win with a wrister into the right
Dustin Penner had a goal and an assist while Roloson made 39 saves in the win
for the Oilers.
Today's tilt marks the close of a three-game road trip for the Oilers, who are
19-15-3 as the guest this year.
The Wild have lost five of six and 10 of their last 13 games and were handed a
decisive loss Friday evening in New Jersey. Martin Brodeur turned aside all 35
shots he faced to notch the 101st shutout of his legendary career, as the
blanked Minnesota, 4-0, at Prudential Center.
Niklas Backstrom got the start between the pipes for Minnesota and was yanked
in the second period after yielding three goals on 11 shots. Josh Harding
finished with 17 saves for the Wild.
Minnesota is back in St. Paul for just one game as the club will kick off a
four-game road trip Tuesday against the New York Rangers. The Wild are 19-11-6
as the host team this season.
The Wild and Oilers have split four meetings so far this season, but Minnesota
has won six out of 10 against Edmonton. The home team has won eight straight
and 13 of the last 14 matchups in this series.
03/22 10:50:37 ET