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Oilers hold on to clip Wild 2-1

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Neither team asserted itself much through the opening six minutes with the Oilers getting the only shot on goal during this span. Edmonton's only shot came while on the power play with Minnesota's Pierre-Marc Bouchard in the penalty box.

Minnesota's first power play came at the period's midway point when Petr Sykora was sent off for hooking. On the ensuing man advantage, the Wild managed their first shot on goal for the period.

Todd White was absolutely crushed by Oilers defenceman Matt Greene at the Edmonton blueline on that same power play and had to be helped off the ice, favouring his right leg.

Edmonton had another power play late in the period and this time was able to capitalize with a few fortunate bounces. Ladislav Smid found Petr Nedved along the left side boards and Nedved stumbled but managed to recover enough to get the puck over to Joffrey Lupul.

Lupul tried to centre the puck to Shawn Horcoff but it bounced in off Wild defenceman Martin Skoula in front.

Shots on goal after one were 8-6 for Minnesota.

Roloson was solid early in the second with Minnesota on the power play. Brian Rolston's blast from the point was stopped by the Oilers netminder during the Wild's best scoring chance with the man advantage.

As soon as the Jason Smith penalty expired, the Oilers went down a man once again as Marty Reasoner was sent off for hooking. A minute into Reasoner's penalty, some confusion during a line change led to the team taking a bench minor for too many men.

Minnesota had plenty of chances during the five-on-three with their best coming on a wrister from the slot by Mark Parrish. Roloson came across to glove it down.

Shots on goal midway through the second were 11-2 for Minnesota but the Oilers had a chance to reverse the tide following a Derek Boogaard interference penalty.

The Oilers did just that, as Marc-Andre Bergeron took a pass from Petr Sykora and blasted it in past a screened Manny Fernandez to double their lead.

Minnesota came close to cutting the Oilers' lead in half as Nick Schultz ripped a shot from the left point but it rang off the far post behind Roloson.

After two periods, shots on goal were 20-14 for Minnesota.

Edmonton only had one shot within in the opening nine minutes of period three but their second shot was a solid scoring chance as Nedved picked off a pass from Shawn Belle in the Wild zone and then wristed a shot into the midsection of Fernandez.

With 7:55 to go in the third, Minnesota struck for their first of the game. Marian Gaborik was behind the net when he found Walz at the bottom of the right circle. Walz one-timed Gaborik's pass and it beat Roloson through the five hole.

Minnesota pressured to get the tying goal late in the third and had the Oilers pinned deep in their zone for minutes at a time. In desperation, the Oilers iced the puck several times in an attempt to relieve the pressure.

In the final minute, Minnesota continued to press for the equalizer but while the Oilers had trouble clearing the puck out they also did not let the Wild get many good close chances on Roloson. Minnesota's play was kept to the outside for the most part until the Oilers finally cleared it out of harm's way with seconds left to go.

NOTES: Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish missed the game as he was in London, Ontario for family reasons... Jarret Stoll left the game late in the first period, favouring his right ankle but returned to start the second... Ales Hemsky left the game midway through the second period and did not return.
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