National Hockey League
Oilers-Wild Preview
National Hockey League

Oilers-Wild Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 4:42 p.m. ET

The Minnesota Wild seem determined not to allow one setback completely halt their surge.

Looking to bounce back from their first March defeat, the Wild try to complete a season series sweep of the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.

Though Minnesota (31-26-10) battled back from a three-goal deficit to get within one in the third period Sunday, its four-game winning streak ended with a 4-2 loss to St. Louis. The Wild dropped to 8-4-0 since interim coach John Torchetti replaced the fired Mike Yeo, so the club isn't reading too much into the result.

''Things are going in the right direction, so we have to make sure we focus on that coming off this,'' center Ryan Carter said.


With three days off between games, Minnesota has had the opportunity to regroup.

"You learn from losses, that's for sure, but you certainly learned about our character," Torchetti told the Wild's official website.

The disappointment the Wild showed following their latest defeat amid an atmosphere were expectations have been raised, appears to signal how well they understand the sense of urgency that comes with a playoff push.

"It shows we want it; we want it bad," said defenseman Matt Dumba, who increased his career-high goal total to 10 on Sunday. "A lot of disappointed faces here in the locker room after because we were working hard.

"We kind of did it to ourselves, kind of shot ourselves in the foot. We'll try not to do that Thursday."

Minnesota, which last dropped back-to-back home contests during an eight-game slide Jan. 7-Feb. 13, is in position to record its first sweep of Edmonton (26-36-7) in five seasons after taking the first two meetings.

In the midst of a six-game point streak after matching a career high with his eighth goal Sunday, defenseman Ryan Suter scored twice in a 4-3 home win over the Oilers on Oct. 27. Dumba had a goal with an assist in the 5-2 victory at Edmonton on Feb. 18.

Though Devan Dubnyk allowed three goals in three of his last four home starts and the same amount to the Oilers in October, he's 6-1-0 with a 1.28 goals-against average against his former club.

After winning three in a row, Edmonton fell for the second time in three games with Tuesday's 3-0 loss to San Jose. The Oilers have averaged 34 shots in five March games but totaled 11 goals, and been held to two or fewer 12 times in the last 17.

"You're not going to win games if you don't score," forward Jordan Eberle said. "We have to find a way to bear down on the chances we have."

Edmonton is 1 for 24 on the power play in the last 11 contests.

"We've got to play better hockey and hold each other accountable," recently acquired forward Patrick Maroon told the Oilers' official website. "It's a hard league, but it can't be individual stuff. We have to play together and as a group."

Cam Talbot allowed three goals while winning four straight starts prior to matching that total on 22 shots faced against San Jose. He yielded four goals in each of the first two with the Wild.

Eberle doesn't have a point in three games, but has three goals with 10 assists in his last eight at Minnesota.


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