Well, they’ve done it again… they’ve pulled off another win with a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday. After a month of no wins, it is nice for the “faithful” fans at Rexall to witness what a win is like (the last win previous to these two was December 30th against the Leafs at Rexall Place). So the Oilers are 2-7-1 in their last 10. The Wild, meanwhile, have lost their last 2 (5-2 to San Jose on Saturday and 4-2 to the Stars on Tuesday) and are 4-5-1 in their last 10.
I’d like to see the top line become Penner, Gagner and Brule again tonight, although I’m doubtful that will happen. I also wonder if we’ll see the two Doobies battle it out in net tonight, as both Harding and Backstrom are injured for the Wild. Harding backed up Dubielewicz for the last Wild game, but he’s nursing a hip injury. Since Deslauriers played last night and looked scary at times (despite the shutout), I would think that Dubnyk would get the nod. We shall see.
Since this game is in Minnesota tonight and we generally like to struggle there, from what I recall, I’ll say: 2-1 Minnesota.
Edmonton Oilers Projected Line-Up (subject to change)
Moreau – Horcoff – Pisani
Visnovsky – Chorney
Gilbert – Grebeshkov
Plante – Strudwick
Minnesota Wild Projected Line-Up (subject to change)
- Staios is back skating again.
- Dubnyk has been re-assigned to Springfield and Pitton has been re-called.
- Pisani in, Brule out. Brule is a healthy scratch. I’m wondering if Pisani is being showcased here, as there are now rumors brewing that he’s being shopped.
|1ST PERIOD SCORING|
|2ND PERIOD SCORING|
|– 1:19 – Havlat from Johnsson|
|Havlat jumps on a rebound in the slot and easily puts it behind Deslauriers. Looked like missed coverage by Visnovsky there.|
|– 6:41 – Comrie (PP) from Gagner, Visnovsky|
|Beauty saucer pass by Gagner here to quickly get it cross-crease to Comrie who one times it in.|
|3RD PERIOD SCORING|
|- 3:41 – Mietteinen from Koivu, Brunette|
|Koivu starts going behind the net but throws it out front to Mietteinen, who is in tight on Deslauriers and flips it up under the bar.|
|– 8:41 – Pouliot from Stortini, Jacques|
|Stortini and Pouliot just keep whacking away at it on the side of the net. Pouliot barely jams it home. What a goal line stand! They review it (possibly kicked in), but it stands.|
|– 12:12 – Latendresse from Brodziak|
|Latendresse Lat-undresses Strudwick and puts it behind Deslauriers on the backhand.|
|– 17:24 – Havlat from Latendresse|
|Havlat to Latendress, back to Havlat, back door. Havlat puts it into the yawning cage.|
|SHOTS ON GOAL|
1ST PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
16:43 – Big save by Deslauriers on Havlat.
10:55 – Latendresse runs over Gilbert in the corner.
9:00 – Wow, great effort by Pouliot here. Possibly the most unskilled-looking way to deke through two guys, but it worked to get him in alone on Harding.
6:42 – Deslauriers loses it and flops around for a bit while every Oiler on the ice collapses on him to cradle the puck in under him.
5:44 – Wow, Deslauriers bombarded by shots here and somehow he keeps it out. He loses sight of the puck again and just snow angels.
1:31 – Bodies flying in the corner. Pouliot nails someone, somewhat from behind. Scott half hits him as more players jump in on the fray. Scott then goes after Stortini, and Jacques jumps in as well. Scott goes off for 2.
2ND PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
18:05 – Jacques takes a stick in the face that isn’t called.
14:15 – Comrie drilled from behind by Zidlicky here. Another 2 minute penalty for the Wild will put the Oilers on a 5-on-3. The Oil score a nice one after the first penalty expires.
8:40 – Great kill by O’Sullivan. He nearly got two short-handed chances. Once he lost his stick, the other time he was pretty much mugged and battled up the ice with Burns. But that ticked some good time off the clock.
7:32 – Cogliano takes a big hit trying to cross the blue line by Zanon, but Zanon actually seems to take the worst of it, going down. Good job by Cogliano for standing up to the hit!
1:46 – Deslauriers emulates his idol (Hasek) here, dropping the stick and picking the puck up with his blocker hand.
3RD PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
19:29 – Deslauriers makes a nice save on a cross-crease one timer by Nolan.
9:38 – Pouliot undresses a defenceman here and makes a beautiful play on Harding. It slides through the crease to Jacques. Jacques slaps it to the net but Harding flies across to make a gorgeous save. Harding is hurt on the play (he has a hip problem that may have been reinjured). He’s done for the night, as he takes one for the team to keep it tied. Khudobin is in, for his first NHL game ever.
7:37 – Gagner is tripped up on a breakaway… no penalty shot, but its called a trip. The Wild end up with a critical kill on this penalty to keep it 3-2.
0:17 – The Wild sail one wide of the empty net.
Pretty decent game played by the Oilers tonight. They got off to a horrible start in the first period, however. But towards the end of the first, the Oil started to battle back (partly due to a powerplay on a John Scott roughing call). Good game by Jacques, Gagner, and for the most part Deslauriers (who made some pretty key saves, but at times looked a little lost). I didn’t really notice Plante tonight, however that is usually a good thing. Admittedly, I didn’t pay close attention tonight like I did last night. Visnovsky seems to be battling lately, and not in a good way. I think more and more each game, Potulny is also looking like a great pickup. I hope the Oilers keep him next year.
Great game also by Latendresse and Havlat (who each had two points, and had 3 goals between them), and Josh Harding. Harding left the game mid-way through the third on a gorgeous save to keep the score tied. He actually injured himself on the play. He’s battling a hip injury and looks like he may have reinjured it. I thought Harding was star-worthy tonight.
Next game, Saturday vs. the Avalanche, in Colorado. It starts at 8:00PM MST and is televised on CBC.