Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
NEW! SIGN IN WITH YOUR SOCIAL PROFILE
OR
Username or EmailPassword
Minnesota
Wild
Edmonton
Oilers

31 SOG
31 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
MIN
EDM
  • Preview
  • Watch
  • Ice Tracker
  • Boxscore
  • Recap
  • photos (16)
game recap

Oilers tame struggling Wild, 4-1

Friday, 12.23.2011 / 12:32 AM

NHL.com

Share with your Friends


Oilers tame struggling Wild, 4-1
Minnesota Wild 1, Edmonton Oilers 4
Three Stars of the Game
Jordan Eberle
1st
G: 2Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 15:55
Nikolai Khabibulin
2nd
SA: 31TOI: 59:57
GA: 1EV: 21-22
PIM: 0PP: 9-9
SV%: .968SH: 0-0
Ryan Smyth
3rd
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 18:20
The Edmonton Oilers gave their fans something to remember them by as they head out for a seven-game road trip.

Jordan Eberle scored twice as the Oilers snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Thursday night in their last game before turning Rexall Place over to the World Junior Championship.

Ryan Smyth and Lennart Petrell also scored for the Oilers (15-16-3), who had won just two of their last 11. But the Wild (20-11-5) are in an even bigger funk -- they've dropped six in a row and were swept during this week's three-game trip to Western Canada. Dany Heatley's third-period goal did nothing more than spoil Nikolai Khabibulin's shutout bid.

"We just weren't ready at the start and it cost us the game," Minnesota forward Kyle Brodziak said. "I think we have to take a look in the mirror and make sure we are better from here on out. It hasn't been good enough. It's not fun right now."

The win was a relief to the Oilers, who don't play another home game until Jan. 11.

"It eases your mind," center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. "We can take this momentum forward."

After the Oilers dodged an early bullet when Clayton Stoner rang a shot off the post a minute into the game, Eberle opened the scoring at 15:57 with a terrific individual effort. He stopped a clearing attempt during an Oilers power play, toe-dragged his way around a defender and fired a wrister past Niklas Backstrom for his 14th goal of the season.

"It's important to have that kind of confidence," coach Tom Renney said of Eberle's increasing confidence in his offensive skills. "Those are special plays by special players."

Smyth made it 2-0 at 18:36 by whacking away at the rebound of his own wraparound to dislodge it from Backstrom's skate and nudge it into the net. It was his 14th of the season but first in 12 games.

Backstrom made 18 saves -- including one on Taylor Hall's penalty shot with 12 seconds left in the period -- to keep the Wild within two at intermission.

Petrell's one-man effort made it a 3-0 game at 1:40 of the second. He stripped Jeff Taffe, moved into the high slot and picked the top corner past Backstrom's glove with a slapper for a shorthanded goal. Erberle's backhander from the slot at 2:56 put the Oilers up by four -- and eight minutes into the middle period, Edmonton had as many goals as Minnesota had shots.

"Confidence is a powerful thing in this game," Eberle said of his two-goal night.

Minnesota had a chance to get into the game early in the third when Petrell was assessed a checking from behind major for shoving Marek Zidlicky as he was going into the boards.

"I feel bad for Marek and the way he went into the boards," Petrell said. "From my point of view he might have caught an edge because I didn't feel it was much contact."

The Oilers killed off the long power play, only to have Heatley score his 10th of the season at 7:57, seven seconds after it expired.

Few teams are happer to reach the Christmas break than the injury-riddled Wild, who are 0-4-2 in their last six after a seven-game winning streak that carried them to the top of the NHL standings.

"It's very apparent that we've got a long way to go," said a furious coach Mike Yeo, whose team scored just two goals in the three losses in Western Canada this week.

"We have to understand that the League gets tougher. As the year goes on, teams get better. We better not only be keeping pace but setting the pace. This trip was a step back."

Material from team media was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
15:57
EDM
PPG - Jordan Eberle (14) Snap shot - ASST: NONE
1 - 0 EDM
18:36
EDM
Ryan Smyth (13) Wrist shot - ASST: Ladislav Smid (3), Tom Gilbert (11)
2 - 0 EDM
2nd Period
01:40
EDM
SHG - Lennart Petrell (3) Snap shot - ASST: NONE
3 - 0 EDM
02:56
EDM
Jordan Eberle (15) Backhand shot - ASST: Corey Potter (7), Ryan Whitney (3)
4 - 0 EDM
3rd Period
07:57
MIN
Dany Heatley (10) Snap shot - ASST: Matt Cullen (12), Jared Spurgeon (13)
4 - 1 EDM
penalty summary
1st Period
05:04
MIN
Warren Peters  Hooking against  Ben Eager
08:10
EDM
Darcy Hordichuk  Interference on goalkeeper against  Niklas Backstrom
10:37
MIN
Clayton Stoner  Tripping against  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
15:11
MIN
Justin Falk  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
20:00
EDM
Ben Eager  Boarding against  Cal Clutterbuck
2nd Period
10:29
MIN
Pierre-Marc Bouchard  Too many men/ice - bench
19:01
EDM
Sam Gagner  Hi stick - double minor against  Pierre-Marc Bouchard
3rd Period
02:50
EDM
Lennart Petrell  Checking from behind (maj) against  Marek Zidlicky
02:50
EDM
Lennart Petrell  Game misconduct
goalie stats
Niklas Backstrom
SA: 31TOI: 60:00
Saves: 27EV: 20 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .871SH: 2 - 3
Nikolai Khabibulin
SA: 31TOI: 59:57
Saves: 30EV: 21 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 9
SV%: .968SH: 0 - 0