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Oilers edged 2-1 by Wild

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Robert Nilsson made an impact on his first shift along with linemates Marc Pouliot and Raffi Torres. The trio put some pressure deep in Minnesota's zone and almost got the puck past Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom.

The Oilers drew a penalty as Kurtis Foster bumped Nilsson in front of the Wild net, putting Edmonton on the power play.

On the ensuing power play, Backstrom made a nice glove save off a Winchester wrister from the high slot.

With time ticking off the penalty, Minnesota had a two-on-one with Brian Rolston and Mark Parrish. Rolston fed a pass across the slot to Parrish whose one-timer was stopped by Roloson.

Minnesota took the lead just past the midway point of the first as Matt Greene's stick broke while he was attempting to clear the puck. Mikko Koivu picked up the loose puck and broke into the Oilers zone. He found Parrish in front for the tap-in.

Nilsson, Pouliot and Torres had another productive shift late in the period. Nilsson came within inches of scoring after Pouliot threaded a pass across the crease but he couldn't get a handle on the puck.

Shots after one period were 13-10 for Minnesota.

Neither team was able to generate much in the first half of the second period with the Oilers outshooting Minnesota 3-1 in that span.

The best chance went to Edmonton as Toby Petersen created a turnover and skated it on a two-on-one with Joffrey Lupul. Petersen found Lupul for the blast but it was turned away by Backstrom.

Both teams traded power play opportunities in the period but not much was generated on either side.

Shots after two were 16-16.

Roloson made a big stop early in the third on Branko Radivojevic on the heels of a Minnesota three-on-two rush to keep it a one-goal game.

7:22 into the third, Gaborik took a feed from Demitra in the corner of the Oilers end then skated in front where he backhanded the puck past Roloson to increase Minnesota's lead to 2-0.

Back-to-back penalties to Gaborik and Koivu two minutes apart gave the Oilers what was essentially a four-minute power play. The second man advantage was cut short by Robert Nilsson getting sent off for goaltender interference.

With 3:57 to go in the third, Robert Nilsson picked up a Patrick Thoresen rebound and slipped it past Niklas Backstrom to cut Minnesota's lead to 2-1. The goal was Nilsson's first as an Oiler.

The Oilers pressed to get the equalizer late in the game but Minnesota was able to hold them off just enough to gain the one-goal victory.
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