NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, November 30th
(All times Eastern)
Minnesota Wild (14-7-3) at Edmonton Oilers (12-10-2), 9:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Last week, Edmonton was able to snap an epic 17-game slide
With the clubs set to meet for the second time in six days tonight, the Oilers
will settle for halting a modest losing streak to the Wild at Rexall Place.
These Northwest Division residents met twice back in October, with the Wild
walking away with a pair of 2-1 shootout victories to run their overall series
winning streak to eight games in a row.
Minnesota's victory on Oct. 13 was also its 17th in a row at home over
Edmonton, but the Oilers finally ended that skid with their first victory at
Xcel Energy Center since Jan. 16, 2007. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice in
the 5-2 triumph, while Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist.
The Oilers, though, will be without Hall for this game as they try to best the
Wild for the first time in the past five meetings in Edmonton. Hall is
expected to miss 2-for-4 weeks with a left shoulder injury suffered in a loss
to Colorado on Saturday.
"I thought I was going to be out a little bit shorter period of time, but 2-
to-4 weeks isn't bad," Hall said. "It's not like I am missing a huge chunk of
games where it's going to take me three or four games to get back into the
swing of things. I want to get back as quick as I can, obviously. I'll just
try to rehab it as quick as possible."
The 20-year-old former No. 1 pick of the 2010 draft did not play in Monday's
2-1 loss to Nashville as Edmonton lost its second straight in the opener of a
Jordan Eberle scored the lone goal and Nikolai Khabibulin turned aside 29
shots in defeat for the Oilers, who will play only their fourth home game of
the month and have gone 1-2 in the previous three.
With Hall out of the lineup, head coach Tom Renney said afterwards that he
felt his club passed up opportunities to put shots on net.
"I thought it was a decent start. The story for me tonight is shoot the puck,"
said Renney. "Had we done that and gotten a little more territory off of that
I think we had an excellent chance of winning the hockey game."
Minnesota's loss to Edmonton last week snapped a five-game win streak and the
club followed up the defeat with another 5-2 setback at home to Calgary on
Sunday. However, the Wild bounced back the following night to defeat the
Lightning, 3-1, and close out a six-game homestand.
Niklas Backstrom was pulled less than 10 minutes into the game versus the
Flames, but rebounded on Monday to make 32 saves. Cal Clutterbuck added his
third short-handed goal of the season and Mikko Koivu iced the game with an
empty-net tally that was his 100th career goal. The two each had an assist as
"We had some trouble getting through their defense early on," said Minnesota
head coach Mike Yeo. "You're not going to be able to dance through their zone.
You just have to keep forcing them with the forecheck and aggressive play.
It's difficult, but they can be beat and we were able to do that tonight."
Minnesota will play six of its next seven on the road and is 5-3-2 as the
guest this year.
11/30 10:38:55 ET