Oilers 1, Wild 5
The Skinny: The Oilers and Minnesota came into this one tied in Western Conference standings, but it wasn’t nearly as close on the ice as the Wild broke open a 1-1 game with four consecutive goals in the first game of the season series between the teams.
The Quote: “I don’t think the score dictates how the game was played,” said Oilers assistant coach Kelly Buchberger. “We put an honest effort in ... We’re not happy with the outcome of the game, but the effort was there, no question.”
The Big Play: It was already 2-1 for the Wild in the third period when Pierre-Marc Bouchard took a Sheldon Souray giveaway, cut into the slot and pounded a slapshot low past Dwayne Roloson for a two-goal lead at 8:21.
Nik Owns Oil: Stopper Niklas Backstrom continued his dominance over the Oilers with 20 saves, improving to 10-0 against Edmonton in his career. He’s recorded eight of those wins on home ice.
Tough Crowd: The Oilers haven’t won at the Xcel Energy Centre in two years, since a 2-1 decision on Jan. 16, 2007. They’re 0-7-1 since then, being outscored 30-9, and have been shut out three times.
Hemsky Update: Ales Hemsky missed his ninth straight game with a concussion. Hemsky is with the team but is still experiencing headaches and dizziness after skating. The latest word is he might be out until after the NHL all-star break.
Milestone: Oilers defenceman Steve Staios played his 800th NHL game.
The Next Game: The Oilers visit Denver on Friday to face the Colorado Avalanche.