EDMONTON — The Minnesota Wild keep piling up the wins, and the goals.
Joel Eriksson Ek had a goal and an assist as the Wild won their seventh straight game, rolling over the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 Tuesday.
The seven-game run is tied with Dallas for the longest active streak. The Wild have scored at least four goals in six straight games.
Marcus Foligno, Victor Rask and Dmitry Kulikov also scored for the Wild, who improved to 18-6-1.
“They played real well in the second period, but we really liked our regroup and how we played in the third period,” said Wild head coach Dean Evason. “We did a lot of real, real good things.”
Amongst them was keeping the potent Oilers power play off the board at 0-5 on the night.
“Our penalty kill was outstanding tonight, I can’t say enough about them,” said Minnesota goalie Cam Talbot, who made 38 saves. “We weren’t giving them those Grade A chances that they’re accustomed to and with the statistics coming in you wouldn’t think the power-play match-up would favour us, but we got a big one early and our penalty kill did a great job, so give our special teams a tone of credit tonight.
Jesse Puljujarvi had the lone goal for the Oilers (16-8-0) who are mired in a three-game losing skid.
“Obviously we’re going through a little bit of a lull and we need to figure it out,” said Oilers captain Connor McDavid. “I remember maybe my second year, we kind of did the same thing where we got off to a great start and played .500 for probably a month or two and then got back on a roll. Obviously the good start has bought us a little time here, but we can’t rely on that. We’ve got to get back in the win column on Thursday.”
The Oilers once again found themselves down early as Minnesota started the scoring just 1:11 into the opening period on the power play. Eriksson Ek poked a puck that Edmonton goalie Mikko Koskinen had jammed against the post with his skate into the net for his 10th of the season.
The Wild made it 2-0 seven minutes into the first period as Matt Dumba made a nice feed to a hard-charging Foligno, who redirected the puck into the net for his 11th.
Edmonton got a goal back six-and-a-half minutes into the middle frame as Connor McDavid fed Puljujarvi during a battle in front, and he sent it past Talbot.
The Oilers outshot Minnesota 20-6 in the second period.
Minnesota restored its two-goal lead five-and-a-half minutes into the third as Jonas Brodin sent it through to Rask, who had a wide open net to shoot at before Koskinen could get across.
The Wild put the game away with five minutes remaining as Kirill Kaprizov sprung Kulikov for a rare defenceman breakaway and he made the most of it, undressing Koskinen for his third goal of the season.
Both teams return to action on Thursday. The Wild are in San Jose to face the Sharks, while the Oilers play the third game of a six-game homestand against the Boston Bruins.
Notes: Wild captain Jared Spurgeon (lower body) missed his eighth game, while teammate Frederick Gaudreau was out due to COVID-19 protocol. Missing from the Oilers lineup were Mike Smith (lower body), Slater Koekkoek (lower body), Duncan Keith (upper body)and Cody Ceci (COVID)… Oiler forward Devin Shore returned after missing the last 13 games with a lower body injury. As a result, Edmonton put forward Brendan Perlini on waivers to make room on the roster... Edmonton has only scored the first goal of the game in nine of their 24 games this season, winning all nine of those contests… Minnesota's 37 points through its first 25 games represents its best start in franchise history.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2021.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press