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Wild edge Oilers on Coyle's late goal

by Derek Van Diest /

EDMONTON -- Charlie Coyle scored the winning goal on an excellent individual effort with 4:23 remaining in regulation to give the Minnesota Wild a 2-1 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday at Rexall Place.

Coyle took an errant pass by Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle at his own blue line, raced in, skated around goaltender Viktor Fasth and tucked the puck into the net to break a 1-1 tie and help Minnesota end its two-game losing streak.

"It's good to get the two points, and definitely, there are some opportunities to learn a few lessons in that game," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "Our puck management was poor, very poor, against a team that we stressed how good they were on the counterattack and the skill they have in the lineup. I think the way we managed the puck led to a lot of odd-man rushes or chances against. We pride ourselves on being a team that can defend well, but when you're turning pucks over like that, you're not in a position to defend.

"Charlie's goal couldn't have come at a better time. We had started to lose momentum because of the turnovers that we had and so when you get an opportunity like that and you get to capitalize on it, that's obviously huge."

It was the first game back for both teams after the NHL All-Star break, which concluded Monday.

Nino Niederreiter also scored for the Wild (21-20-6), and goaltender Devan Dubnyk earned his fourth win against the Oilers this season.

Dubnyk, who made 23 saves, was 3-0-0 against the Oilers as a member of the Arizona Coyotes before being traded to Minnesota earlier this month. Dubnyk, who played for the Oilers last season, is 4-0-0 with a .966 save percentage and a 1.00 goals-against average against Edmonton this season.

Fasth finished with 27 saves for the Oilers (12-27-9). He is 0-5-0 at home

"It's always hard that first game back from a long break," Wild forward Zach Parise said. "It was a pretty boring game; there was not much going either way, just a lot of chipping pucks, throwing it off the glass, not much in the way of sustained pressure either way. But fortunately, we were able to win. It's really hard when you haven't felt the puck or you don't have your legs. That first game coming back is always a tough one."

Niederreiter scored 9:09 into the first period to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead, capitalizing on a turnover in front by Oilers forward Nail Yakupov.

Wild right wing Justin Fontaine created the turnover, stripping Yakupov of the puck in front of the Oilers' net. Yakupov had spun away from a check at the faceoff circle and skated out with the puck but then fanned on a pass. Fontaine took the puck and spotted Niederreiter, who lifted a shot over Fasth.

"There were too many turnovers tonight. Two of them were costly," Oilers coach Todd Nelson said. "We could have managed the puck a lot better. I thought we fought the puck a bit tonight, especially early on."

Oilers center Boyd Gordon tied the game at 17:16 of the second period. He gained control of the puck beside the Wild net and tried to wrap it around Dubnyk. The puck went off the skate of Wild center Kyle Brodziak in front and into the net.

The goal, Gordon's sixth of the season, ended a 14-game scoring drought.

"It was one of those games that we could have seen ourselves winning, but we had too many turnovers," Gordon said. "We didn't get a lot of pucks at the net either, especially for the first couple of periods. It wasn't good enough to win tonight. We came out a little flat and had nothing really going on. We didn't have much energy."

Prior to Gordon's goal, Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz had a chance to score. He used his speed to get around the Wild defense, but Dubnyk was able to stack the pads and get a piece of Schultz's shot to send it over the net.

"It was funny, I did the same play on him in Arizona in overtime," Dubnyk said. "It was a little tighter, but I was laughing with him after that. I don't know where that came from. I don't think I've done it to anybody else other than him twice. I was fortunate to get a glove on it."

In the third period, both teams found their skating legs and began to trade chances.

Wild forward Mikael Granlund was stopped by Fasth breaking in alone on off left wing. Dubnyk then made a save on Yakupov from in tight at the other end.

Edmonton forward Teddy Purcell failed to hit the net in a 2-on-1 rush created by Yakupov. Benoit Pouliot had an opportunity in front of Dubnyk, but also missed the net prior to Coyle going on to scoring the game-winner.

"It was a turnover by them and I happened to be there," Coyle said. "I saw a clear lane and I just tried taking it to the net. Luckily I finished it off and it rolled in, so it was nice. I knew as I was picking up the puck I had a few guys beat, but I think they were making a change as well, so it worked out for me. It was nice to see that open space and I was lucky I was able to put it away."

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