Series (Game 3 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Friday, October 16th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 23rd
Game 3: Thursday, February 4th
Game 4: Friday, March 5th
Game 5: Tuesday, March 16th
Game 6: Monday, April 5th

Oilers 2

(18-32-6, 42 pts)

Wild 4

(28-25-4, 60 pts)

8:00 PM ET, February 4, 2010

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 T
EDM 0 1 12
MIN 0 1 34

M. Havlat (Wild - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

G. Latendresse (Wild - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Deslauriers (Oilers - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: .889

Oilers-Wild Preview


A new month has brought some newfound confidence for the Edmonton Oilers. They hope it might also lead to some success on the road.

Winners of consecutive games for the first time in two months, the league-worst Oilers on Thursday also seek their first road victory since December, and their first win at the Minnesota Wild in more than three years.

After enduring an 0-11-2 stretch, Edmonton (18-31-6) has opened February with its first consecutive victories since winning five in a row Dec. 3-11. Two nights after beating Carolina 4-2 at home, Ryan Potulny scored a power-play goal with 17 seconds left in regulation Wednesday to give the Oilers a 1-0 victory over Philadelphia.

"It's about time for us," said Potulny, who has three goals in his last five games.

While their 42 points are still the fewest in the league -- and nine behind Columbus, the next-worst team in the Western Conference -- the injury-riddled Oilers might finally have found something positive to build on after winning for the third time in 23 games.

"When you lose 12 or 13 in row it does a lot to your confidence late in games," said forward Sam Gagner, who has five goals and two assists in his last seven games. "Being able to pull that one out against Carolina gave us a lot of confidence and it showed. (Wednesday) we weren't tentative. We were playing aggressive right to the very end."

The Oilers will likely need to continue that style of play when they open a five-game trip looking to avoid an eighth consecutive road loss. Edmonton hasn't won away from Rexall Place since a 5-3 victory at St. Louis on Dec. 11, and had been outscored 29-7 during that skid.

The road losing streak began Dec. 23 with a 3-1 defeat at Minnesota. The Oilers are 0-9-2 at Xcel Energy Center since a 2-1 victory Jan. 16, 2007.

Though the Wild (27-25-4) have won six of seven at home, they've dropped two straight overall and have some goaltending issues heading into this game. Minnesota is in 13th place in the Western Conference, six points out of the final playoff spot.

Minnesota was forced to call up journeyman Wade Dubielewicz to start Tuesday's 4-2 loss at Dallas after starter Niklas Backstrom came down with the flu and backup Josh Harding reaggravated a hip injury.

Backstrom and Harding had been the only goalies to play for the Wild since March 6, 2007, but it's uncertain if either will be healthy enough to play in this contest. With a 14-1-0 record and 1.64 career goals-against average against Edmonton, Backstrom would be the likely choice in net for the Wild if both are able to return.

Andrew Brunette recorded his seventh point in as many games with a goal against Dallas. The veteran forward has also scored in three straight games versus the Oilers.

Edmonton's Jeff Deslauriers made 26 saves in the December loss to the Wild -- his first career appearance against Minnesota. He stopped 33 Flyers shots Wednesday for his second career shutout.