ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- One mistake was all it took for the Minnesota Wild to
lose their franchise-record unbeaten streak.
Ryan Smyth scored a short-handed goal nine seconds into the third period,
snapping a tie and lifting the Edmonton Oilers to a 2-1 victory over the Wild
on Friday night.
Minnesota was unbeaten in nine games (4-0-5) and had moved five points ahead
of the Oilers in the Northwest Division as Edmonton was mired in a 3-10-5 skid.
The Oilers rallied to tie Minnesota on Tuesday, then began a six-game road
trip with their second win in three weeks.
"We've got to battle through the things that disappoint us and frustrate
us," said Smyth, who scored his 10th goal.
The Wild began the third period on a power play, but Edmonton won the
opening faceoff and dumped the puck into Minnesota's zone. Wild goaltender
Dwayne Roloson mishandled it behind his net, and Smyth stole the puck and beat
Roloson to the front of the net before firing a shot off the far post and in.
"I know the puck was bouncing there. I'm sure if he had it to do again he'd
play it differently," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "I think he knew that
Smyth was getting close, but I don't think he expected a tough time controlling
Roloson kept the punchless Wild in the game with 16 saves. He has
surrendered two goals or fewer in nine consecutive starts.
"Rolie bails us out of a lot of games with big saves, so a bounce like that
just happens," Minnesota captain Brad Bombardir said. "It's just hockey, and
you move on."
The Wild missed a chance to tie the game with seven minutes remaining when
Marian Gaborik hit the crossbar with a wrist shot from 25 feet out.
"I tried to shoot high because he went down all the time," Gaborik said.
"A couple of inches lower and it's in. But luck wasn't on our side tonight."
Raffi Torres put Edmonton on top 1-0 late in the first period when he beat
Roloson with a backhand shot for his 10th goal.
The Wild tied it with 3:53 left in the second period on Matt Johnson's fifth
goal. Jim Dowd fired a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that
Edmonton goalie Tommy Salo stopped, but Johnson banged home the rebound from in
Salo made 24 saves to earn the win.