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Oilers drop 5-0 decision to Wild

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Patrick Thoresen almost gave the Oilers an early lead with a backhand attempt at the top of the crease but Wild starting goaltender Josh Harding made a nice save while sprawled out on the ice.

The play started with Petr Nedved backhanding a pass to Zack Stortini in the slot. Harding made the initial stop on Stortini before Thoresen's rebound attempt.

Just past the midway point of the opening period, Martin Skoula took advantage of a neutral zone turnover before dishing the puck up ice to Pavol Demitra. The Slovakian centre broke in alone on Roloson and made a move before roofing it with a backhand.

With five minutes left in the period, Derek Boogaard levelled Marty Reasoner behind the Edmonton net. Raffi Torres and Steve Staios took exception to his actions and went after the Wild enforcer. Zack Stortini also jumped in and wrestled with Boogaard.

The result of all the penalties was a Minnesota five-on-three power play.

1:05 into the ensuing power play, Marian Gaborik and Demitra worked a give-and-go with several passing through the slot. The end result was Demitra feeding Gaborik for a wide-open net with Roloson unable to come across to make the save.

After one, shots on goal were 8-7 for Minnesota.

Minnesota increased their lead to 3-0 in the second period. Mark Parrish used his speed to get past Matt Greene and then fired a shot from the left circle. Branko Radivojevic skated in on the back door and put home the rebound.

Following the third Minnesota goal, the Oilers started to pick up their play. MacTavish moved Torres up to play with Pisani and Nedved and they generated some pressure deep in the Wild end.

Josh Harding stood his ground midway through the second, making consecutive stops on Jason Smith as the Oilers defenceman pounded the puck on net.

Edmonton received its first power play 12 minutes into the second period when Petteri Nummelin was sent off for holding. Minnesota's PK proved difficult as the Oilers only received one shot on goal.

Following the second period, Minnesota still had the lead in shots at 18-15.

Jussi Markkanen replaced Dwayne Roloson in goal for Edmonton to start the third period.

Six minutes into the third, Torres got tangled up with Boogaard once again - this time in front of the Edmonton bench. Staios also got involved and the result was a Minnesota power play but the Oilers were able to kill it off.

About 10 minutes later, the Wild struck for their fourth of the game. Lupul was stripped of the puck in the neutral zone, letting Gaborik break in alone. He made no mistake, deking out Markkanen for his second of the game to make it 4-0.

Minnesota extended that lead to 5-0 late in the period with Pisani serving a penalty. This time it was Demitra scoring his second of the game.

Late in the game, the Oilers had a two-man advantage in an attempt to spoil Harding's shutout bid. They had some opportunities but just couldn't convert.

NOTES: Marty Reasoner left the game in the first period after the hit from Boogaard.
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