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Post-Game Notes vs. Edmonton - Dec. 29

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild
Fridley, Minnesota-native RW Jarod Palmer scored his first career NHL goal, and RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored 19 seconds later, leading the Minnesota Wild past the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in front of 19,129 – the third-largest crowd of the season and 400th regular season sellout at Xcel Energy Center. G Niklas Backstrom made 27 saves to move to 16-0-0 all-time at home versus the Oilers, as Minnesota snapped an eight-game winless streak (0-5-3) and won for the 18th time in 19 home meetings against Edmonton. C Mikko Koivu had a goal and an assist, LW Dany Heatley also scored, D Marek Zidlicky posted three assists and D Greg Zanon tied his career-high with two helpers. Minnesota, back into a tie with Vancouver for the top spot in the Northwest Division, plays host to Phoenix on Saturday for a special 5:00 p.m. start.

 
RW Jarod Palmer scored his first career NHL goal in his sixth game. The Fridley native became the seventh Minnesotan to score for the Wild.
 
C Mikko Koivu tallied a goal and an assist, giving him a nine-game point streak (5-7=12). Koivu leads Minnesota in points (32), assists (23), plus-minus rating (+12) and has a point in 16 of his last 17 games (8-14=22). He has a team-best seven multiple-point games on the season
 
G Niklas Backstrom made 27 saves to improve to 16-0-0 all-time at home versus Edmonton. He allowed more than two goals for just the second time in those 16 starts.
 
LW Dany Heatley scored his team-leading 12th goal – the third time this season he’s scored a goal in back-to-back games. Heatley has a four-game point streak (3-2=5) and is now tied for the team lead with three GWG.
 
RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored his eighth goal of the season and 97th of his career, moving him past Brian Rolston and into sole possession of fourth place on the team’s all-time list.
 
D Marek Zidlicky notched his first three-assist game since March 25, 2009, and his first multiple-point game since Dec. 27, 2010.
 
D Greg Zanon tied his career-high with two assists, the other time coming Nov. 27, 2009, against Colorado.
 
LW Matt Kassian, recalled from AHL Houston this morning, skated six shifts for 2:12 but was named first star of the game by the fans, after 20 penalty minutes, including two wins over Darcy Hordichuk.
 
The Wild improved to 13-9-3 when allowing the first goal. No other NHL team has more than 10 wins in that situation.
 
Minnesota scored three goals in a period for the first time since Dec. 2 versus New Jersey, and four goals in a game for the first time since Dec. 10 at Phoenix.
 
The Wild is 3-1-2 in the second half of back-to-backs, after not winning in the first half.
 
The teams, who met twice in the preseason and six times in the Wild’s first 39 games, completed their season series already by combining for 57 penalty minutes tonight.
 
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