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GAME: Minnesota Wild (16-16-4) at Edmonton Oilers (21-12-4).

TIME: Wednesday, 9 p.m. EST.

The Edmonton Oilers hope to come up with a better performance when they host the Minnesota Wild in the finale of a two-game series at Rexall Place.

The Wild took the opener with a 4-1 win Monday night, snapping the Oilers' five-game winning streak. Edmonton had been 7-0-3 heading into that contest.

Minnesota's Marian Gaborik scored to break a tie with 45 seconds remaining in the second period.

"That was a big goal for us," said Wild coach Jacques Lemaire, whose team has won four of five. "I was surprised with how we skated."

Pascal Dupuis had a power-play goal while Brian Rolston added a short-handed goal in the third period.

"Great team effort tonight," said Rolston, who scored for the first time in four games. "These are huge games for us."

Edmonton had hoped to put some distance between itself and Minnesota in the standings. The Oilers are 10 points ahead of the Wild in the Northwest Division.

"This gives Minnesota a chance to get back in the race," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "Overall it was as poor a game as we have played in a while."

Edmonton had scored at least five goals in each game during its winning streak, but several turnovers limited their chances and goalie Ty Conklin gave up several rebounds.

"We didn't skate the way we would like," said Fernando Pisani, who scored the Oilers' only goal to extend his scoring streak to six games. "The neutral zone turnovers killed us, and they made us pay."

Minnesota saw its streak of 27 consecutive penalty kills come to an end with Pisani's power-play goal in the first period, but the Oilers were only 1-for-7 on the power play.

Minnesota leads the NHL in penalty killing, having given up only 20 power-play goals this season.

The Wild expect the Oilers to be more prepared.

"These guys will play better - there is no doubt," said Lemaire.

STANDINGS (through Dec. 27): Wild - 36 points, 5th place, 10 PB, Northwest Division. Oilers - 46 points, 1st place (tied), Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Wild - Rolston, 16 goals and 35 points; Pierre-Marc Bouchard, 20 assists; Derek Boogaard, 64 PIM. Oilers - Ryan Smyth, 15 goals; Shawn Horcoff, 27 assists; Jarret Stoll, Ales Hemsky and Horcoff, 35 points; Ethan Moreau, 53 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 27): Wild - Power play: 18.8 percent (38 for 202), 9th in NHL. Penalty killing: 90 percent (179 for 199), 1st. Oilers - Power play: 18.5 percent (43 for 232), 12th. Penalty killing: 82.4 percent (192 for 233), 14th.

GOALTENDERS: Wild - Manny Fernandez (12-5-3, 1 SO, 2.01 GAA); Dwayne Roloson (4-11-1, 1, 2.67). Oilers - Conklin (4-2-1, 3.24); Jussi Markkanen (12-9-3, 3.08);


LAST MEETING: Monday; Wild, 4-1. At Edmonton, Alberta, Gaborik broke a tie with a goal late in the second period and the Wild snapped the Oilers' five-game winning streak.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Wild - 6-10-3 on the road; Oilers - 9-5-2 at home.

Associated Press
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