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McDavid powers Oilers past Wild

Rookie scores game-winning goal with 7:29 left; Talbot makes 29 saves

by Dan Myers / Correspondent

McDavid gives Oilers the lead

EDM@MIN: McDavid uses speed to net go-ahead goal

3/10/16: Connor McDavid races down the ice and wrists the puck past Darcy Kuemper to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead in the 3rd

  • 01:00 •

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Connor McDavid scored the go-ahead goal with 7:29 remaining, and the Edmonton Oilers overcame several injuries and a suspension in a 2-1 win against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

Down three regulars on defense because of injury, another, Darnell Nurse, because of his suspension, and forward Matt Hendricks, who left the game midway through the first period with an undisclosed injury, the Oilers played a smart, simple road game.

Tied 1-1 with less than eight minutes left in the third period, Oilers forward Zack Kassian scooped up a loose puck in the defensive zone and skated toward center ice. He spotted McDavid along the left wing gaining speed in the neutral zone, then hit the rookie with a perfect outlet pass. McDavid shielded the puck from Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon before beating goaltender Darcy Kuemper with a shot under his arm.

"I was just trying to hold on to it until I saw [McDavid] get his speed," Kassian said. "I saw he had him, so I just gave him the puck, and he did what he does best."

Video: EDM@MIN: Korpikoski puts home rebound to open scoring

It was McDavid's 14th goal and 35th point in his 33rd NHL game. McDavid has nine goals and 14 assists in 20 games since returning from a broken left clavicle on Feb. 2.

"[Kassian] made a great play on that goal, holding the puck a little longer and giving me a chance to build up my speed a little more; it bought me a little more time," McDavid said. "Good play by him. [I was] just trying to get it on net, and fortunately it went in.

"You're kind of at an awkward angle, coming in fast. The goalie doesn't really know how to play that, I don't think. Probably should have been a save, but we'll take it."

Lauri Korpikoski scored for Edmonton, and goaltender Cam Talbot made 29 saves for his 17th win. Talbot has allowed two goals or fewer in seven of his past eight starts.

Video: EDM@MIN: Parise nets top-shelf goal off faceoff

The Oilers (27-36-7) have won five of their past seven games overall and four of five on the road.

"It is a real good feeling. I'm proud of the group tonight. Scrappy effort right from Minute One on through," Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said. "To keep a team like that to one goal is a real good thing. A win on the road (is) a confidence-builder for us. Now if we can parlay this into a good homestand, we'll be pleased."

Minnesota (31-27-10) has lost two straight and trails the Colorado Avalanche by two points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. The Wild have a game in hand.

Zach Parise scored Minnesota's goal, and Kuemper made 23 saves.

Video: EDM@MIN: Talbot flashes the leather to make nice save

Korpikoski put Edmonton ahead 1-0 at 9:55 of the first period just after an Oilers power play ended. He put a rebound in the slot past Kuemper with a backhand shot for his ninth goal.

"We didn't start the game off the right way, getting pucks deep. We had about 10-12 turnovers in the neutral zone, and we started chasing the game, and we have to be smarter," Wild coach John Torchetti said. "That falls right into what they want to do. They want a track meet, and it gave them confidence, and we lost the game on a faceoff play.

"We have to get hungry in that area, and win that edge battle. We talked about it. We have to do a better job, and be focused. We're not always trying to score a goal right out of that. We're trying to make sure in defensive posture too. We have to play a two-way game there."

Parise scored his 19th goal at 11:04 of the second off a faceoff. He scooped up a loose puck at the right dot, maneuvered to the slot and put a snap shot over Talbot's glove, ending a nine-game goal drought.

Video: EDM@MIN: Talbot keeps the game tied in the 3rd

It was Parise's second goal since Jan. 23 and first at home since Jan. 10.

"Doesn't matter, we didn't win," Parise said. "We talked about it a lot in the room before the game. Just didn't get through the neutral zone, and when we did, we turned it over a lot crossing the blue line, so we didn't get much of a chance to get in there."

The Wild are 2-8-3 at Xcel Energy Center since Jan. 7. They will begin a three-game road trip Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens.

The Oilers will open a five-game homestand Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes. They'll again be without Nurse, who will serve the second of his three-game suspension for being the aggressor in an altercation with San Jose Sharks defenseman Roman Polak on Tuesday.

Video: McDavid scores game-winner in 2-1 win over the Wild

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