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.