Road Reaction: Wild 2, Oilers 1
Playing in Edmonton has served the Minnesota Wild well in recent seasons, and there was no more important of a win in Canada for Minnesota than Tuesday night’s.
Minnesota returned following the All-Star break with a 2-1 win at Edmonton, picking up two points as it tries to get back into playoff position in the second half of the season. The Wild have won nine of their last 10 games in Edmonton and have picked up points in four of their past five games.
Goaltender Devan Dubnyk was used to the surroundings, as well, having spent five seasons with the Oilers as a first-round draft pick by them. Dubnyk made 23 saves for Minnesota and is now 4-0-0 against his former team.
Since being traded by Edmonton last season, Dubnyk has won all four of his starts against the Oilers and has allowed four total goals, stopping 113 of the 117 shots he’s faced.
1. Charlie Coyle, F, Wild: All of Dubnyk’s work could have gone for naught if not for Coyle. Coyle scored the game-winning goal with 4 minutes, 23 seconds remaining on a nifty individual play.
Coyle’s third game-winning goal of the season came after he picked up a loose puck and skated into the offensive zone with only defenders near him. Edmonton goaltender Viktor Fasth came out to challenge Coyle, who skated around the goaltender and then quickly slid the puck behind the Fasth and then tucked the puck into the goal from behind the net.
Coyle, placed on the third line with the return of Mikael Granlund, had three shots on goal, one hit and a blocked shot in the game.
2. Dubnyk, G, Wild: Dubnyk won for the third time in five starts since being acquired by Minnesota from the Arizona Coyotes. Dubnyk wasn’t challenged much early, but also held later when Edmonton started to gain some momentum. The one goal was on a wraparound which deflected off Kyle Brodziak’s skate.
Dubnyk now has a 2.04 goals-against average with the Wild and a .911 save percentage.
3. Nino Niederreiter, F, Wild: Niederreiter started the scoring for Minnesota with his 15th goal of the season. Niederreiter lifted a quick pass from Justin Fontaine into the goal after an Oilers turnover. The goal snapped a 17-game drought for Niederreiter, who last scored on Dec. 16 at Chicago. Niederreiter tied Jason Pominville with a team-high four shots on goal.
Seen: Zach Parise looking for his teeth. Parise was hit in the face by the puck in the second period and was bent over bleeding from the mouth. Parise could be seen apparently picking up his teeth from the ice before he was attended to by athletic trainers.
Parise missed the rest of the period but returned in the second period and played the rest of the game. He had three shots and played 16:55.
Said: "Those guys (Coyle and Niederreiter), I thought, were good all night. Getting the goals were bonuses, but creating momentum, finishing checks, being strong on the puck. When they’re doing those things, they’re very effective.
"Obviously the first goal was huge for us and they’re doing it the right way. Charlie’s goal couldn’t have come at a better time for us. I thought we had started to lose some momentum because of the turnovers we had, and so when get an opportunity like that and you’re able to capitalize on it, that’s obviously huge." — head coach Mike Yeo.
Next: As important as getting two points at Edmonton on Tuesday was, getting two points on Thursday would be really big for the Wild. Minnesota travels to Calgary on Thursday to face the Flames, who currently own the No. 8 seed for the Western Conference playoffs. Calgary is seven points ahead of the Wild, which is in 12th place. Minnesota can really aid its playoff push against a team it’s chasing.
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