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game recap

Wild recover in third, hang on to defeat Oilers

Staal, Kunin score 1:08 apart to keep Kahkonen without loss in regulation

by Jessi Pierce / Independent Correspondent

Kunin nets wrister from the slot

EDM@MIN: Kunin wires wrister past Smith from the slot

Luke Kunin receives a pass in the slot and quickly fires a far-side wrist shot past Smith to double the Wild's lead in the 3rd period

  • 00:34 •

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Kaapo Kahkonen made 28 saves, and the Minnesota Wild defeated the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

Jordan Greenway, Jason Zucker, Luke Kunin and Eric Staal each had a goal and an assist for the Wild (15-12-5), who had lost two straight but are 8-1-3 in their past 12. Kahkonen is 3-0-1 to start his NHL career.

"It was a pretty sloppy game from both teams, but I have no problem with sloppy games as long as we're the team with the higher number at the end," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Video: EDM@MIN: Greenway pots fortuitous deflection in front

James Neal had a goal and an assist playing his 800th NHL game, and Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each scored his 20th goal of the season for the Oilers (18-12-4), who have lost three straight for the first time this season. Edmonton has lost four of its past five and is 2-5-1 in its past eight.

"We're not panicking in here," McDavid said. "We lost three games, I think we're the last team in the League to lose three in a row, so, all teams have gone through it and we're going through it now."

Video: EDM@MIN: Draisaitl sneaks PPG home from the doorstep

Gaetan Haas redirected a shot by Adam Larsson at 10:43 of the third period to get Edmonton within 4-3. McDavid scored on a one-timer at 12:49 to tie it 4-4.

Staal scored at 15:13 to make it 5-4, and Kunin scored at 16:21 for a 6-4 lead. Neal scored with 49 seconds left for the 6-5 final.

"There were good chances, like really good chances, but in the end you'd like to see some saves there," Edmonton coach Dave Tippett said.

Video: EDM@MIN: Staal blasts one-timer home for the lead

Oscar Klefbom pinched into the slot and backhanded a shot to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead 8:00 into the first period. Greenway tied it 1-1 at 12:35, deflecting a shot by Carson Soucy. Zucker backhanded top shelf on a partial breakaway with 18 seconds remaining in the period to make it 2-1.

Draisaitl scored a power-play goal at 2:00 of the second period to tie it 2-2. The Oilers have scored on the man-advantage in six straight games.

Ryan Hartman fed Marcus Foligno for a 3-2 lead at 3:46 of the third period. Ryan Donato extended his goal streak to three games, and the Wild lead to 4-2, at 7:50 with a snap shot.

"We spend so much energy fighting back, and that's a positive that we can do that," Draisaitl said. "But first of all, we do it too often and too much, and if you fight that hard to come back in, you want to at least get rewarded in some type of way, so you find ways to shut it down more."

Video: EDM@MIN: Donato buries wrister past Smith on 2-on-1

They said it

"We have to dig in here. We're in a bit of a rut. It starts with the top guys, all the way down through the lineup. I've got be better. That's pretty much it." - Oilers captain Connor McDavid

"We have a great group of core veterans here. But it's going to take all 20-however-many are in the lineup every night. It's going to take us all, the older guys and the younger guys, everybody has to step up. Sometimes the younger guys aren't going to have a great night and that's when the veterans have stepped up and vice versa. I think everyone has been contributing. I think the young guys have been playing well." -- Wild forward Jordan Greenway, who is 22

Need to know

Mike Smith made 20 saves for Edmonton. He last won Nov. 23 (0-2-0 with 16 goals allowed in four games). … Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had an assist for his 400tn NHL point (153 goals, 247 assists in 567 games). ... The Wild are on a season-high 11-game point streak at home (8-0-3), their longest since 13 games from Dec. 27, 2017 to Feb. 13, 2018 (10-0-3). ... Zucker has three two-point games in his past five. ... Donato has five goals in his past eight games. ... Foligno has three points (one goal, two assists) in a three-game point streak. ... Neal has 536 points (285 goals, 251 assists) in 12 NHL seasons.

What's next

Oilers: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, SNO, SNW, SNP, NHL.TV)

Wild: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-N, NBCSP, NHL.TV)

Video: Balanced attack leads Wild past Oilers, 6-5

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