By Kate Butler
The last time the Wild took the ice against the Edmonton Oilers, it resulted in the injury of Cal Clutterbuck and the two game suspension of Taylor Hall. At their last meeting, which took place in Edmonton, the Wild went home with the 3-1 win, and tonight had a similar outcome with a 4-2 Wild win. The Oilers took the ice at the Excel Energy Center tonight in the middle of a nine game road trip, which may have given the Wild a psychological, and physical, advantage. Going into tonight’s game, Wild player Torrey Mitchell said, “We just want to get off to a good start,” when asked how his team was feeling.
A good start is exactly what they got less than three minutes into the game when Jared Spurgeon put his team on the board. This marked Spurgeon’s second goal of the season and an early lead for the Wild. Edmonton’s Magnus Paajarvi came back to tie the game with two minutes left in the first period, but the Oilers were still out-shot 11-7 in the opening period.
The Wild would continue to get more shots off than the Oilers for the entirety of the second period of play. In fact, for the third time in history, the Wild didn’t give up a single shot in a period. The last time this occurred was all the way back in 2009. Minnesota out-shot Edmonton 18-0 in the second, but the score remained 1-1 going into the final period of play.
The third period was a big one for both teams, but the Wild came out on top in the end. Just nine seconds into the period, the Wild won the faceoff and Mikko Koivu fired off the tie-breaking goal from Spurgeon and Coyle. This quick goal tied Casey Wellman’s team record for fastest goal to start the third period, as well as Brian Rolston’s record for fastest goal to begin any period. Jordan Eberle snapped the more than 23 minute span of no shots for the Oilers just over a minute into the period, but his team wouldn’t see a goal just yet.
About six minutes into the final period of play, Wild rookie Charlie Coyle scored his first goal at the X, which came as a backhand from Koivu and Parise. This put the Wild up by two points in a 3-1 game, as well as marked Coyle’s first career multi-point game. This game also was the first multi-point game for Spurgeon this season and the 88th for Captain Mikko Koivu’s career.
Coyle credited the win to his team by saying, “We played a full sixty, so that’s what matters.” After a crazy bouncing goal from Oilers’ Sam Gagner nearly 13 minutes into the third, Edmonton found themselves only trailing by one goal. Just a few minutes later, Danny Heatly scored on a power play, his eighth goal of the season, putting the Wild up by two. This power play goal is Heatly’s 139th career power play goal, and was assisted by Suter for this tenth assist in the last 11 games.
The Wild closed this game with a score of 4-2, picking up two points in the standings. These two points move the Wild up to 6th in the West. As for their next game, Minnesota will travel to Chicago on Tuesday to take on the Blackhawks, a team that is currently undefeated in regulation. When asked what it will take to beat Chicago, Head Coach Mike Yeo said, “We just have to play our game,” and “We’ll go in with the understanding that we are a good team.”
The puck drops in Chicago at 7:30p on Tuesday, with the pregame coverage beginning at 7:00p. Tune in to KFAN 100.3FM to hear all the action before, during, and after the game.