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GAME STORY: Wild 5, Oilers 2

43 shots on goal were not enough to mount a comeback against Darcy Kuemper and the Wild

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

Video: OILERS TODAY | Oilers vs. Wild Post-Game 

EDMONTON, AB - The Minnesota Wild got goals from four different skaters, gaining a 2-0 lead after the first period and never looking back, eventually taking the game by a score of 5-2.

YOUR GAME-DAY ESSENTIALS

The Oilers put up 43 shots on Darcy Kuemper, Leon Draisaitl scored his 20th goal of the season and Laurent Brossoit made 15 saves in relief of Cam Talbot in the losing effort.

"We were flat, we didn't execute well, we weren't good around our net," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "They were the better team, we got what we deserved."

With the loss, McLellan hopes his group can analyze their shortcomings and prevent future mishaps. 

"If we have a group that will take ownership of their individual games tomorrow when we come to practice and we're able to dissect the game, we have a chance to get better."

The Oilers and the Wild exchanged plenty of chances early on in the affair. Kuemper shut the door on a Draisaitl one-timer, while Talbot nixed Jason Zucker's tap-in attempt on the doorstep.

The Wild eventually opened the scoring, beating Talbot at 13:09 of the first period. After some strong cycling, Tyler Graovac notched his first goal of the game by harnessing a loose puck in front of Talbot, placing it off both posts and past the goal line.

Minnesota made it 2-0 with 3.6 seconds left in the first. Zucker corralled a fortuitous bounce and fired it high blocker on the Oilers starter. Minnesota exited the first period up 2-0 and led the shot count 14-13.

"We gave up too much in our defensive zone," said Oilers winger Jordan Eberle. "They had numerous chances in and around our net without any coverage and we hung Cam to dry a few times. It's obviously frustrating when you're playing well and you come back and do that."

After an early Oilers power play to begin the second frame, Zach Parise deposited his ninth of the year to put Minnesota up 3-0. Parise got two whacks on a centering feed by Jason Pominville, putting it past Talbot at 4:15 of the second period.

The Oilers finally got on the board at 11:08. With heavy traffic in front of Kuemper, Adam Larsson wristed a point shot that hit a Wild skater in front and found the back of the net. It was Larsson's third goal of the season, with the assists going to Oscar Klefbom and Anton Slepyshev.

Minnesota sought stopping any attempt at an Oilers comeback, with Graovac tucking his second of the game to put his squad back up by three no more than two minutes after Larsson's goal. Talbot would be relieved, ending his night with 15 saves on 19 shots and prompting Laurent Brossoit between the pipes.

"Every time we had a good shift it seemed like they came back and they scored a goal or they had their spark," said Draisaitl, who extended his point streak to seven games with a power play goal. "We couldn't really maintain any longer pressure for a couple shifts. Tonight we definitely didn't play very good." 

Draisaitl scored his 20th goal of the season later in the second period, cutting the lead in half to 4-2. A Connor McDavid rush caused a Mikko Koivu slashing penalty, putting the Oilers back on the power play. The Cologne, Germany native got off a rocket one-timer from the top of the key to continue his career year. Milan Lucic and Andrej Sekera registered the helpers on the play, picking up their 19th and 18th assists on the season, respectively.

The Oilers converted on one of their three power plays and didn't allow a goal on the lone penalty they gave up.

Chris Stewart rebooted his team's three-goal lead in the third. The Wild forward placed a wrister through Brossoit's wickets on a two-on-one at 4:36 to make the score 5-2.

This is the first regulation loss for the Oilers since January 10 when they dropped a 5-3 decision to the San Jose Sharks and a game the team will look to learn from.

"It's been a while since we've had to review that type of outing, so, it will be good for us," said McLellan. "It will be an honest morning, we'll have a video session with the players, we'll have a good, crisp practice. We'll give the team and the players a chance again, it was an awful night on our behalf but we'll reload."

The Oilers end their season-series against the Wild at 0-1-2. The club is now 28-16-8 on the season.

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