Final SO

Series (Game 8 of 8)

Minnesota leads 6-2

Game 1: Wednesday, November 23rd
Oilers4Final
Wild3
Game 2: Monday, December 26th
Wild4Final
Oilers1
Game 3: Wednesday, December 28th
Wild4Final
Oilers2
Game 4: Friday, February 10th
Wild6Final
Oilers3
Game 5: Sunday, March 12th
Oilers3Final
Wild4
Game 6: Tuesday, March 14th
Oilers2Final
Wild1
Game 7: Tuesday, March 28th
Wild3Final
Oilers2
Game 8: Thursday, April 6th
Oilers1Final
SO
Wild2

Oilers 1

(38-26-13, 89 pts)

Wild 2

(36-34-7, 79 pts)

8:00 PM ET, April 6, 2006

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 SO T
EDM 0 1 0 01
MIN 1 0 0 12

B. Rolston (Wild - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

D. Roloson (Oilers - G): Saves: 26, Save Pct.: .963

M. Fernandez (Wild - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: .970

Minnesota tops Edmonton on Rolston's shootout winner

ST. PAUL (AP) -- Brian Rolston didn't have much success against Dwayne Roloson at Minnesota Wild practice this season. Apparently Rolston only needed his nemesis to change uniforms.

Rolston scored against Roloson with a stick-side wrist shot in the third round of a shootout to give the Wild a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.

"You try to make a good shot, and luckily it went off the post and went in," Rolston said. "It's a stressful situation, and you try to relax as much as you can."

This was the second shootout win in as many games for the Wild, who beat the Oilers in six out of eight matchups between the Northwest Division teams. Rolston had the winner on Tuesday against St. Louis, too.

The seventh-place Oilers, with 89 points, have five games left. Though they pulled within one point of sixth-place Colorado, they were stinging over a missed opportunity.

Ryan Smyth tied the game just 36 seconds into the middle frame on a short-handed score that met little defensive resistance, knocking in the rebound of his own shot.

The Oilers should've had another one about 30 seconds after that, but Michael Peca's shot -- which replays showed passing the goal line -- was covered by Fernandez and never credited. A brief video review upheld the ruling on the ice, and coach Craig MacTavish looked bewildered by the call.

"The thing I was most upset with in hindsight is that it was such a rush decision," MacTavish said. "We've sat in the past for 10 or 12 or 13 minutes. The mantra is always to make sure it is the right call, regardless of the timeframe."

Peca said one of the referees told the bench at the beginning of the third period a mistake was made.

"I don't know where the blame or responsibility lies," Peca said. "Somebody should be held accountable, without question. We're in a playoff race. What happens if we miss by one point?"

That was clearly an emotional swing for Edmonton. Though Roloson fought off a 5-on-3 advantage late in the second period, Fernandez staved off a flurry of late third-period shots -- which helped Minnesota force overtime, gain a point in the standings and avoid official elimination from the playoff race.

Though the Wild have long been out of legitimate contention, the shootout had a postseason feel to it -- especially with the Oilers determined to start a four-game road trip on positive note.

"You can see where a team is ready to play hard, and they were," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said.

Edmonton's Sergei Samsonov and Minnesota's Mikko Koivu each scored on their team's first shootout chance, but Ales Hemsky and Marian Gaborik were denied.

Smyth, who got the Oilers' goal in regulation, lost control of the puck on his try and was stopped by the Wild's Manny Fernandez -- setting up Rolston's opportunity to win.

That capped a night of superb goaltending by Roloson and Fernandez, who shared the job in Minnesota for four seasons until Roloson was traded to Edmonton last month. Fernandez made 32 saves, and Roloson had 26.

"It's one of the best games I've seen him play this year," Fernandez said.

Stephane Veilleux had the regulation goal for Minnesota, which had the best chance to win in overtime -- when Kurtis Foster's slap shot left a fat rebound for Mattias Weinhandl, who couldn't knock it in with a back-hander.

As they decide who will be a part of their core for the future, the Wild are watching young players like Veilleux for signs of offensive promise. Lemaire demands attention to defense, but he also can't have Rolston, Gaborik and only a few others getting all the goals.

Veilleux scored for the sixth time this season and second in as many games, giving Minnesota a first-period lead on a perfect tip of Marc Chouinard's shot. Veilleux, with his back to the goal, redirected the puck to send it over Roloson's stick, off the pipe and in.

Game notes


This was the career-high 15th consecutive start for Roloson. ... With Filip Kuba scratched with a groin injury that cost him five games last month and flared up again this week, the Wild recalled defenseman Erik Reitz from their AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros. Kuba went with Minnesota on a two-game road trip to Calgary and Colorado. ... The Oilers have collected at least one point in 21 of their last 25 away from home.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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