Brent Burns helped lead the Minnesota Wild to back-to-back wins over the weekend, allowing them to maintain their slim lead in the Northwest Division.
Burns looks to build on his recent success on Tuesday, when the Wild visit the Edmonton Oilers, the division's last-place team.
|Brent Burns (right) scored the winning goal in each of the last two games. (AP Photo/Paul Battaglia)
Minnesota (32-20-4) is looking to wins its third straight Tuesday after beating the New York Islanders 4-3 in overtime on Saturday before a 2-1 shootout victory over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. Burns, who scored the game-winner against the Islanders, came up big again on Sunday, scoring in the sixth round in his first shootout opportunity of the season.
"First time on the shootout, and he made a great move," coach Jacques Lemaire said. "He's been hot. We made the right choice and he made us look good."
The defenseman, who is in his fourth season with the Wild, has career highs of 10 goals - including two against the Oilers - and 30 points. Burns isn't the only Wild player to have good success against Edmonton.
Goaltender Niklas Backstrom is 8-0-0 in his career against the Oilers, including a 4-0-0 mark with a 2.17 goals-against average and one shutout this season. Backstrom, who has won five of his last seven starts overall and given the night off Sunday, has a 1.30 GAA and three shutouts lifetime versus Edmonton.
Overall, Minnesota has won nine of its last 10 against the Oilers - four of five this season. The Wild, who lead the Colorado Avalanche by three points atop the Northwest, are 5-1-1 in their last seven overall and 9-3-2 since Jan. 10.
The Oilers (25-27-5), meanwhile return home after being denied a third consecutive win Saturday in a 4-1 road loss to the Calgary Flames. Edmonton trailed 3-0 at the end of two periods before Robert Nilsson broke up the shutout with 3:55 to play.
|Robert Nilsson moves in to score on Miika Kiprusoff for the Oilers' lone goal in a 4-1 loss. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)
Edmonton gave up an empty-net goal 2:23 later to close out a disappointing offensive effort. The Oilers attempted just three shots in the first period and were outshot 30-15 for the game after outscoring their previous two opponents 9-1.
"You don't want to stare at the shot clock too much because it can get demoralizing, especially when it was as lopsided as it was tonight," captain Ethan Moreau said. "We didn't provide much of an opponent tonight."
Despite the lackluster offensive game, which came after two days' rest, coach Craig MacTavish said his team showed promise late.
"We were looking most of the game for something good to happen to our hockey club and we were looking a long time," he said. "Finally we get a break in the third and the momentum changes in the game. But at that point it was too little too late."
The Oilers are last in the Northwest with 55 points, in part to their struggles at home. Edmonton is 14-14-1 at home, and its 29 points are tied for sixth fewest in the NHL.