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Wild come back to top Oilers 4-3

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Early in the game, Kyle Wanvig introduced himself to former teammate Dwayne Roloson as he collided into the Oilers goaltender. However, the penalty was assessed to Rem Murray for impeding the progress of Wanvig as he drove to the net.

Seconds later, Chris Pronger was sent off for interference putting Minnesota on a two-man advantage.

On the ensuing power play, Todd White wired a shot off the crossbar for the Wild's best scoring chance early on.

Minnesota was able to sustain pressure deep in the Oilers end for the entire power play but weren't able to convert until just three seconds remained. With Roloson out of position following a scramble in front of the Edmonton net, the puck squirted out to Brian Rolston who one-timed it past his former teammate to make it a 1-0 game.

With the Oilers' penalty trouble early on, shots on goal were 6-0 Minnesota nine minutes into the contest.

With seven minutes left in the first, Edmonton went on a two-man advantage of their own with a chance to tie the game up. Late in the two-man power play, Fernandez made an absolutely stunning toe save on Shawn Horcoff in front.

With time ticking down in the second penalty, Horcoff redeemed himself by rifling a one-timer from the left side of Fernandez after taking a beautiful pass across the crease from Hemsky.

As the period went on, the Oilers started to set the tone for the rest of the game. Jason Smith absolutely levelled Kyle Wanvig as he tried to cut to the net around the Edmonton defenceman.

Dwayne Roloson then came up huge making a pair of stops off Todd White and Marian Gaborik to keep the game deadlocked.

Minutes later, Sergei Samsonov scored a highlight-reel goal showing remarkable patience before outwaiting Fernandez and roofing the puck under the crossbar.

After one period, Minnesota was outshooting the Oilers 16-10 but Edmonton had a one-goal lead.

Edmonton's penalty killers were tested once again in the second period as they were two men short for 1:45 and for the second time on the evening, the Wild connected on a five-on-three power play goal.

And for the second time, it was Brian Rolston denting the twine behind Roloson to net the Wild goal. Rolston teed up a blast that went in and out so quickly it looked like it may have rang off the post.

With six minutes left in the period and the teams playing four-on-four, Roloson had to be sharp dropping down to stop a quick snap shot from Todd White.

Roloson came up big again a minute later denying Zyuzin with a nice shoulder stop.

Late in the period, it was Fernandez's turn to shine when he robbed Samsonov from the slot, keeping the game tied.

After two, shots were 24-17 in favour of the host Wild and 8-7 in the second.

Rolston almost made it a hat trick early in the third period when his blast from the right point beat Roloson but rang off the post.

4:43 into the third, Fernando Pisani scored his first goal in over a month for Edmonton's second power play goal of the night to move his club in front 3-2. Raffi Torres faked a shot before passing the puck across the slot to Pisani. Fernandez bit on the fake which gave Pisani enough time to find a hole for his 15th of the season.

Just when it looked like the Oilers were starting to take control of the game, Martin Skoula wristed a seeing-eye shot that made its way through a screen before beating Roloson over his shoulder. Skoula's first since being acquired by Minnesota at the deadline tied the game at 3-3.

Minnesota then took the lead with their third power play goal of the night. Rolston set up Pierre-Marc Bouchard who teed up a blast from the left faceoff circle that beat Roloson and made it a 4-3 game. With an assist on the play, Roloston netted his fourth point of the game (two goals, two assists).

The Oilers found themselves behind the eight ball with time ticking down in the game. With Jaroslav Spacek in the box for tripping with 1:04 left, it would be difficult to get the equalizer. Things got even more difficult with 20 seconds to go when Smyth took a hooking penalty, essentially sealing the deal for Minnesota.

NOTES: The Oilers went with the same lineup as last game with the exception of Dick Tarnstrom, who made way for Matt Greene's return to the lineup... Filip Kuba (soreness) did not play for Minnesota... Manny Fernandez made his career-high 45th appearance in goal tonight for the Wild... Pisani's goal was his first since February 6... Martin Skoula registered his first two points as a Wild (goal, assist)...
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