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Oilers spoil Gaborik's return to Wild lineup

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Edmonton Oilers got another good
bounce against Minnesota.

Ethan Moreau gathered a loose puck and scored with 50 seconds
remaining, and Edmonton beat the Wild 4-3 Wednesday night to spoil
Marian Gaborik's return to the lineup.

Raffi Torres and Jarett Stoll each had a goal and an assist for
Edmonton, which has won four of five. The Oilers improved to
14-2-4-2 all-time against the Wild.

"We know it's always going to be a battle against this team,"
Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "We've been fortunate to have
gotten some good breaks in these games."

Mike Morrison stopped 22 shots to improve to 3-0-0.

Gaborik had a goal and an assist, and Pascal Dupuis scored his
first two goals of the season and added an assist for Minnesota,
which has lost four of five. Dwayne Roloson made 24 saves.

With the clock ticking down, Moreau corralled the puck and
quickly shot from between the circles. The shot deflected off Wild
defenseman Filip Kuba and slid under Roloson, who dropped to 3-7-1.
Marty Reasoner and Chris Pronger had assists on the play.

"Yeah, we got a break at the end," MacTavish said. "But we
were due for a break, especially Ethan. It was great to see him get
a break there and win us a hockey game."

Despite the loss, the Wild were encouraged by Gaborik's return.
The star right wing was activated from injured reserve earlier in
the day and played just his fourth game of the season. He had been
out since hurting his left hip flexor Oct. 23 against Chicago.

"I felt pretty good," said Gaborik, who played 18:39. "We are
trying to be smart and use shorter shifts. I think that was working
out there."

The 23-year-old Gaborik missed much of training camp and the
start of the season because of a right groin injury. He returned
Oct. 19 against San Jose before injuring his hip.

"Hopefully, it's going to get better and better skating-wise,"
he said.

Despite his services, Minnesota led for less than two minutes of
the game. But the Wild were in good shape when Pascal Dupuis' goal
5:07 into the third period pulled them even at 3.

"When we tied it up, you could see the guys had more energy,"
coach Jacques Lemaire said. "At that point, I thought we could win
the game."

But the Oilers, particularly Morrison, were solid down the
stretch.

"I liked the composure he showed," MacTavish said. "It's
always important to see how a young goalie is going to react."

The Oilers took a 3-2 lead when Stoll scored his eighth goal of
the season at 9:26 of the second period. His wrist shot from the
right circle went off Roloson's glove and into the net.

The first period featured plenty of action. Ales Hemsky tied the
score at 2 for Edmonton at 11:20 when Shawn Horcoff won a faceoff
and knocked the puck back to Hemsky, who fired a shot from high in
the right circle past Roloson for his sixth goal.

The Wild grabbed a 2-1 lead when Dupuis scored at 9:30 with
Minnesota on a 5-on-3 advantage following Horcoff's penalty for
tripping Gaborik. Dupuis took a beautiful pass from Pierre-Marc
Bouchard, who faked a shot, and scored from in front of the right
circle.

"It was nice to finally score," Dupuis said. "I've been
playing better lately, but it would feel better if we could have
won the game."

Gaborik brought the crowd to its feet 6:07 into the first when
he scored to tie it at 1. Gaborik sneaked behind the defense and
was wide open on the doorstep when he took a pass from Dupuis and
easily scored on the power play.

"It gives you a boost of confidence to get that goal," Gaborik
said.

The Oilers scored on the game's first shot. Torres took a
cross-ice pass from Stoll and slipped a shot from outside the left
circle between Roloson's legs.

Edmonton won despite having only three power-play chances to
Minnesota's seven.

"We've got to keep this going and keep our confidence up,"
Torres said.

Game notes
The Wild put center Marc Chouinard on injured reserve.
Chouinard has missed seven games because of a sprained right
shoulder. ... The game was the first of eight this season between
the Northwest Division teams. ... Ex-Edmonton star Jari Kurri,
general manager of the Finnish Ice Hockey Association, attended the
game to scout talent for the Finnish Olympic team. Kurri planned to
watch Minnesota center Mikko Koivu closely.