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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Edmonton

Minnesota wraps up its two-game road trip to Western Canada in Edmonton on Saturday night

by Kayleigh Jackson / Wild.com
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (39-22-7, 85 points, third in Central) at Edmonton Oilers (29-34-4, 62 points, sixth in Pacific)

Puck drop: 9:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North, FOX Sports GO

Listen: KFAN FM 100.3, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwildGameCenter


The opponent

Edmonton is coming off a shootout victory against the New York Islanders on Thursday night, the Oilers' second-straight non-regulation win. Cam Talbot made two of three saves in the shootout while captain Connor McDavid scored the deciding goal.

Not surprisingly, the Oilers are led by McDavid in goals, assists and total points, not to mention plus-minus, power-play goals and points, short-handed points, game-winning goals, overtime goals, shots and nearly any other category of hockey statistics possible. McDavid's 81 points rank third in the NHL behind only Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin.

During the Oilers' and Wild's only previous meeting this season, McDavid and Draisaitl both picked up assists as Edmonton ultimately took down Minnesota in St. Paul, 3-2. Matt Dumba scored both Wild goals in that matchup.

Saturday night's game is the last of a five-game homestand for Edmonton. The teams will meet one final time in the regular season, April 2 in St. Paul.

Talbot, whose first game back after missing seven with an injury was the two squads' tilt in December, has posted a 24-26-2 record on the season. He is 3-4-1 against Minnesota with a 2.65 GAA and a .910 save percentage. 


Connections

• Minnesota's Tyler Ennis and Jared Spurgeon are Edmonton natives.

• Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, who played Friday night in Vancouver, was drafted by Edmonton in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, and played 171 games in an Oilers sweater. 

• Edmonton head coach Todd McClellan previously coached Wild prospects in Cleveland and Houston. 


New franchise record

Three Wild defensemen -- Matt Dumba, Jared Spurgeon and Gustav Olofsson -- picked up assists in Vancouver, helping set a new franchise record in the process. 

Minnesota now has 170 points from blueliners on the season in just 68 games, after setting a previous franchise record last season with 169 points in 82 games. It sits second only to Nashville for defensive scoring in the 2017-18 season.


Staal good

Eric Staal scored his team-leading 37th goal on Friday, good for fourth-most in the NHL. With 68 points in 68 games played, he is also tied for 16th in the League for overall scoring.

Staal's next goal would tie Marian Gaborik (2005-06) for the second-most markers during a season in Wild franchise history. The club record is 42, also held by Gaborik since the 2007-08 campaign.


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