Wild seek to extend domination of Oilers
The sizzling Minnesota Wild will take aim at a sixth consecutive victory when they host the Edmonton Oilers for an afternoon battle at Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild are one of the biggest surprises in the NHL this season and are currently leading the league with 29 points after posting their fifth consecutive victory Wednesday against visiting Nashville.
The recent surge marks the second five-game winning streak of the year for Minnesota, which hasn't posted six consecutive wins since winning a club- record nine straight from March 8-24, 2007.
The Wild have absolutely dominated the recent series with the Oilers, who have lost eight straight to Minnesota overall and 17 in a row at the Xcel Energy Center. Edmonton's last victory in St. Paul came on Jan. 16, 2007.
Cal Clutterbuck netted the eventual game-winning goal in the third period and Josh Harding stopped 23 shots as the Wild held off the Predators, 3-2. Kyle Brodziak and Dany Heatley scored, while Mikko Koivu added a pair of assists for the Wild.
"It was a real strong game on our part, from start to finish," Wild head coach Mike Yeo said.
Koivu has two goals and three assists over his last three games, while Heatley ended a six-game goal-scoring drought.
Minnesota is 3-0 so far on a six-game homestand, pushing the Wild's record in St. Paul to 8-2-1 this season. After today's test, the Wild will have home tests against Calgary and Tampa Bay to close out the residency.
The Oilers have won two of their last three tests on the heels of a four-game slide and Edmonton enters today trailing Minnesota by five points for the Northwest Division lead.
Edmonton is coming off a win on Wednesday, as Tom Renney's club pounded the Predators, 6-2, in Nashville. Jordan Eberle had two goals and an assist to lead the Oilers to the easy victory at Bridgestone Arena.
Shawn Horcoff had two goals while Ales Hemsky, playing in his 500th game, added a goal and an assist for the Oilers. Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves in the win.
"The things that have been consistent for us has been our goaltending and special teams and we got that tonight," said Renney. "Certainly on the road those are two big things you need."
Today's tilt is the third test of a four-game road trip for the Oilers, who are just 4-6-1 as the visiting club this year. Edmonton will complete the trek Saturday in Colorado.