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Post Game Notes vs. Edmonton - Feb. 22

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild
G Niklas Backstrom made 20 saves for his 13th straight home win over the Oilers, Edmonton native D Jared Spurgeon scored his first career goal, and RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored a spin-o-rama breakaway goal to go with two assists, as the Minnesota Wild won a 15th consecutive home decision over Edmonton, 4-1, in front of 17,321 at Xcel Energy Center. RW Martin Havlat scored his team-leading 19th goal and former Oiler C Kyle Brodziak snapped a third-period tie for Minnesota, which begins a two-game road trip Thursday at Los Angeles. The Wild moved into fifth place in the Western Conference with 70 points, with Calgary (also 70 points) playing tonight against Boston.

The Wild has won 15 straight home meetings against the Oilers by a combined 55-19 score, last losing 2-1 on Jan. 16, 2007. During the streak Edmonton has scored more than two goals just once and has led in just three games. The Wild's 15-game home win streak against Edmonton is tied with Nashville’s home win streak against Columbus for longest in the NHL, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Minnesota has outscored the Oilers 22-4 in the third period and OT/SO in the run, including 3-0 tonight.

G Niklas Backstrom made 20 saves to improve to 13-0-0 with a 1.15 GAA and a .955 SV% at home against Edmonton in his career. He has allowed two or less 12 of 13 times. It’s the longest current home win streak vs. one team by an NHL opponent, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Backstrom is 6-2-1 with a 1.36 GAA and a .953 SV% in his last nine starts, allowing two goals or less eight times, and one goal or fewer six times.

D Jared Spurgeon, a native of Edmonton who grew up an Oilers fan, scored his first career goal. Spurgeon has six points (1-5=6) in 31 games in this, his rookie season, including five points (1-4=5) in his last eight games. The Wild is 18-10-3 with Spurgeon in the lineup, and 14-12-3 without him.

RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored a spin-o-rama goal and added two assists for his first three-point game since Jan. 31, 2009, at Vancouver. The Wild is 15-1-0 all-time when Bouchard has three or more points. Bouchard’s first spin-o-rama goal, in a shootout, came against the same goalie – Nikolai Khabibulin – Dec. 5, 2006. Bouchard also tied a career-high with a +3 rating.

RW Martin Havlat scored his team-leading 19th goal, including five in his last eight games. Havlat has a three-game goal streak for the first time since four-game run from March 20-March 27, 2009. The Wild improved to 13-1-3 this season when Havlat has a goal. He has nine goals and 13 points in 16 games since Jan. 16. Havlat leads the Wild in goals (19), points (51) and GWG (four) while ranking second in assists (32).

C Kyle Brodziak posted his 13th goal of the season – one off his career-high, set in 2007-08 with Edmonton. The former Oiler, who grew up in suburban Edmonton, has three goals in four games this season against Edmonton, and six points (3-3=6) in 10 career games against the team that drafted him in 2003 and traded him to the Wild at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

D Clayton Stoner notched his first assist in 33 games since Oct. 28 versus Washington. Stoner now has a new career-high with three helpers.

Minnesota is 11-4-1 in its last 16 games overall, and 6-1-1 in its last eight home games while outscoring its opponents 21-10 (not counting shootout goals).
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