This hasn't been the best of seasons for the Edmonton Oilers, but they still have a chance to keep it from being the worst.
Ethan Moreau recorded his first two-goal game of the season, including the shorthanded game-winner, and Dustin Penner also scored twice as the Oilers beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Monday night at Rexall Place.
The Oilers will finish with the fewest points in the NHL this season, but if they can collect three points over their final three games they will eclipse the 60 points garnered during the 1992-93 season, which ranks as the fewest in franchise history.
"It's late in the year and we're out of it and you can always say it doesn't mean anything, but it does mean something," Oilers coach Pat Quinn said. "It shows we can execute. We just need to do it when the games are way more meaningful than they are right now."
Andrew Brunette's goal 12 seconds into the middle period was all the offense Minnesota could muster as it lost its fourth in a row. Niklas Backstrom finished with 27 saves.
"It was a disappointing game," Brunette said. "It's tough playing this time of year when there isn't much to play for. We are in a bit of a slide and it is tough to get out of it."
Penner opened the scoring 1:33 into the first period with his career-high 30th of the season.
"It feels good," Penner said. "It's a personal best. Thirty goals is 30 goals. It doesn't matter what team you are on. It's tough to score 30 goals in this League."
Moreau doubled the Oilers' lead when Gilbert sent him and Horcoff in on a 2-on-1 break while they were killing a penalty to Jason Strudwick. Moreau elected to take the shot and beat Backstrom at the 10:12 mark.
Brunette's goal cut the Wild's deficit in half. Defenseman Nate Prosser, playing in his first NHL game, drew an assist. Mikko Koivu had the primary helper, adding to career highs of 49 assists and 69 points for the Minnesota captain.
The game remained 2-1 into the latter stages of the third before the Oilers put it away with a pair of insurance goals. Moreau capitalized off his own rebound with 5:44 remaining and Penner capped the scoring 1:23 later. Penner’s second of the game came six seconds into a double high-sticking minor on Prosser.
Material from wire services was used in this report.