[March 12, 2014]SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Stuck in 29th
place in the league standings as the season winds down, somebody forgot
to tell the Edmonton Oilers that their year, and their game in
Minnesota, was over.
Trailing 3-1 midway through the third period, the Oilers got
goals from left winger David Perron and right winger Jordan Eberle
late in regulation, then the shootout goals from Eberle, Perron and
left winger Taylor Hall, lifting them to a come-from-behind 4-3 win
over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.
"It would've been real easy to pack it in, call it a night and get
on to the next game, but our guys refused to do it," said Oilers
coach Dallas Eakins, after his team won for the third time in its
past four games. "They just kept scrapping and clawing and it's
tough against a team like that."
Edmonton (23-35-8) got 28 saves from goaltender Victor Fasth, who
was making his first start for the Oilers after coming over from the
Anaheim Ducks in a March 4 trade.
The Wild (34-22-9) got first-period goals from left winger Zach
Parise, defenseman Jared Spurgeon and right winger Jason Pominville
in a 4:16 span but could not muster any more offense and dropped
their third game in a row. Even with a commanding lead early, the
Wild sensed trouble brewing.
"You could just sense, even though we were up 3-0, we weren't
feeling good," Parise said. "We played with no intensity, no
urgency, felt like we got a little cocky and that was it. We let
them right back into the game. And they didn't go away. They kept
coming at us, but we let them back."
After going the first eight minutes of the game without a shot on
goal, the Wild exploded for three goals in quick succession.
Parise, playing in his 600th career game, started the run with a
power-play goal, depositing his own rebound after Fasth made a
sprawling pad save.
Spurgeon was credited with the goal after his shot from the blue
line deflected off Edmonton defenseman Justin Schultz's leg and high
into the net.
"That's how it is to be a goalie," said Fasth, who is now 3-2-1 this
season. "Some days the pucks go in and some days you just can't make
the save. I had three goals early in the game and it couldn't get
worse than that. You just have to battle your way though and try to
fight back into the game."
After Pominville scored his team-leading 24th goal of the season for
Minnesota, the Oilers answered when defenseman Jeff Petry banked a
wide-angle shot off the skate of Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin and
beyond the reach of Minnesota goalie Darcy Kuemper. It was Petry's
fifth goal of the season and his first point since before the
The scoreless second period was a festival of special teams. The
Wild killed off three penalties and the Oilers survived an 84-second
stretch of a Minnesota two-man advantage.
"If they score there, it's over," Eberle said. "Our (penalty kill)
was great tonight, but still our power play's got to be better.
That's kind of been the story of our team. But at the end of the day
we stayed with it and found a way to get two points."
Perron scored midway through the third period to ramp up the
pressure on Minnesota, and Eberle forged a 3-3 tie with just under
five minutes left in regulation, scoring after Kuemper gave up a
meaty rebound of a dump-in from center ice by defenseman Andrew
Kuemper finished with 23 saves. Fasth allowed shootout goals by
Parise and center Mikko Koivu but stopped Pominville and left winger
Matt Moulson for the win. The Wild had been on a five-game winning
streak coming out of the Olympic break, but are now 0-1-2 since
getting Moulson and goalie Illya Bryzgalov at the trade deadline.
"Obviously we had some momentum, we had kind of a good thing going,
and now we're kind of struggling to find the right mix, the right
chemistry, whatever it is," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "We're not in
sync, we're not the same that we were, not consistently enough. As
long as we keep working to find that, once we find that we'll be
fine, but we've got to aim to do it sooner rather than later."
NOTES: The start of Tuesday's game was delayed for a few minutes as
the Wild held an on-ice ceremony honoring LW Matt Cooke, who was
playing in his 1,000th NHL game. Cooke, with his family on hand, was
presented with a ceremonial silver stick and an all-terrain vehicle.
... Oilers rookie D Oscar Klefbom made his NHL debut after being
recalled from AHL Oklahoma City. His first NHL game came in the same
building where he first technically became an Oiler, as Edmonton
picked the Swede in the first round of the 2011 draft, held at Xcel
Energy Center. ... Wild C Mikael Granlund, who led Team Finland
offensively at the Olympics, assisted on two of Minnesota's three
first period goals, giving him 14 points in the Wild's last 13
games. ... Edmonton, in the midst of a four-game road trip, will
visit the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. Minnesota, which is playing
four in a row at home, hosts the New York Rangers on Thursday.