EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) The Edmonton Oilers celebrated Fan Appreciation Night with a rare victory.
Mike Comrie scored in regulation and added the shootout winner in the Oilers’ 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night.
The Oilers, last in the NHL, snapped a three-game losing streak with just their fifth victory since Dec 15.
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“It’s about time that something good happened for these young men,” Oilers coach Pat Quinn said.
“It’s always fun when you win, you can kind of smile again,” Comrie said. “We played hard and changed the tune, got a win, and it’s a lot more fun winning. When you’re battling and playing hard and not getting the wins it get frustrating, they add up.”
Comrie slipped a backhander through Niklas Backstrom’s pads in the sixth round of the tiebreaker, and Jeff Deslauriers deflected Guillaume Latendresse’s shot over the net with his glove to finish off the Wild.
Quinn said he has been impressed with the way Comrie has battled this season, coming off a lengthy absence due to a bout of mono.
“Mike made a decision to come back,” Quinn said. “He’s one of those guys that wants to play here. He had the unfortunate illness and it really side-railed him for a while. He wants to make a contribution. He wanted to take that shot in the shootout tonight. And he went out there and found the 5-hole with a great play. If he can play like that he can make a contribution to this organization.”
Latendresse scored in regulation for Minnesota.
“There are a couple teams between us and eighth place so to play like we did tonight was very disappointing,” Wild forward Owen Nolan said.
“We have to be better than that. There are no excuses. We just didn’t play good hockey tonight. We didn’t play as well as we should have. We need every point we can get and we let one slip away tonight.”
Comrie opened the scoring at 6:50 of the first period, swinging around behind the net and hooking the puck behind Backstrom.
Latendresse tied it at 7:34 of the second. Latendresse went around defenseman Tom Gilbert and swung behind the net before calmly depositing the puck behind Deslauriers.
Minnesota had a power play for the final minute of overtime but couldn’t capitalize, sending the game to the shootout.
NOTES: The home team won all four games in the season series. … The Wild have more wins (27) against the Oilers than they have against any other NHL team.