Theodore Makes 28 Saves, Wild Beat Oilers 3-1
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Minnesota Wild swept aside the Edmonton Oilers.
Jose Theodore made 28 saves and Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Mikko Koivu assisted on all three Minnesota goals in the Wild’s 3-1 victory over the Oilers on Friday night.
The Wild swept the six-game season series.
“It just happens,” Oilers coach Tom Renney said. “They aren’t into our psyche. There is nothing we can’t overcome here. We had a real good shot against this team tonight. We just ran out of gas because of the penalty situation. We have every reason to think we can beat them and we’ll take that into next season.”
Brent Burns, Jared Spurgeon and Andrew Brunette scored to help Minnesota win for just the third time in its last 14 games. Teemu Hartikainen scored for Edmonton. The Oilers, headed for their second straight last place finish in the NHL, have lost 13 of their last 15.
The Oilers’ Theo Peckham and Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner got the game off to a rough start with a prolonged fight at center ice immediately after the opening faceoff.
It launched a violent first period that featured several scuffles.
Minnesota was given a 7-minute power play after a one-sided scrap when Edmonton’s Steve MacIntyre jumped Brad Staubitz after the Wild forward took a run at rookie Magnus Paajarvi.
“He’s a great teammate,” Renney said about MacIntyre. “He’ll do whatever he can to protect his teammates. He certainly took it upon himself to do that.”
Just over a minute into the long power play, the Wild gave some of that advantage back when Cal Clutterbuck was given a major penalty for running Peckham into the boards.
However, the Wild did get a goal near the end of the power play when Burns scored on a 4-on-3 advantage with Edmonton’s Chris VandeVelde also in the penalty box, serving a double minor for high-sticking.
“You build up rivalries with teams and don’t forget what has happened in the past,” Staubitz said.
“We came in here with a mindset of coming in and playing hard and to get our 20th road win. We had a tough loss in Vancouver and we played hard and with emotion. That was a long first period but I thought we stuck together and fared well.”
Minnesota went ahead 2-0 early in the second when Bouchard’s shot deflected off a defender to Spurgeon in front of the slot for an easy tap-in past goalie Devan Dubnyk.
Less than 1 1/2 minutes later Edmonton, responded with Hartikainen’s tap-in goal.
Edmonton came close to tying it with 8 minutes to play in the second, but a power-play shot by Jim Vandermeer rattled off of the post. The Oilers looked to have scored on the power play with 5 minutes left as the puck was pushed in during a scramble, but the officials ruled that the whistle had been blown before the puck crossed the line.
Minnesota sealed the game with Brunette’s empty-netter with 49 seconds left.
NOTES: The teams will finish their seasons Sunday. The Wild host Dallas, while the Oilers are in Colorado. … Eberle locked up the Oilers scoring title with his 43rd point of the season, surpassing Taylor Hall, Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner, who are all injured for the rest of the season. … The Oilers held a pregame ceremony for retiring singer Paul Lorieau, the primary anthem singer at Edmonton home games since 1981.
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