Final

Series (Game 4 of 8)

Minnesota leads 5-3

Game 1: Wednesday, October 10th
Oilers0Final
Wild2
Game 2: Thursday, October 25th
Wild4Final
SO
Oilers5
Game 3: Monday, November 5th
Oilers2Final
Wild5
Game 4: Thursday, November 15th
Wild4Final
Oilers2
Game 5: Saturday, December 29th
Oilers4Final
OT
Wild5
Game 6: Tuesday, February 12th
Wild2Final
Oilers4
Game 7: Monday, March 24th
Wild3Final
Oilers5
Game 8: Wednesday, March 26th
Oilers1Final
Wild3

Wild 4

(10-6-2, 22 pts)

Oilers 2

(7-11-1, 15 pts)

9:00 PM ET, November 15, 2007

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 T
MIN 1 2 14
EDM 0 2 02

E. Belanger (Wild - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 4

J. Stoll (Oilers - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

M. Gaborik (Wild - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Wild spread scoring load, extend dominance over Oilers

Associated Press

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild maintained their recent mastery of the Edmonton Oilers.

Eric Belanger had a career-high four assists to help Minnesota snap a two-game losing skid with a 4-2 win over the Oilers on Thursday night.

Martin Skoula, Marian Gaborik, Kurtis Foster and Mark Parrish scored for the Wild (10-6-2), who earned their first victory in six tries on the road and improved to 8-0-1 in their past nine matchups with Edmonton.

"For some reason, it seems to happen that you just have a team's number," Parrish said. "I don't really know why. You get wins that sometimes you don't even really deserve.

"Our power play came up with a pair of big goals and our penalty killing was good tonight. Otherwise we just got the bounces," he said.

Wild captain Brian Rolston agreed.

"I don't think we were as sharp as we should have been tonight and I think it was a good thing we caught them playing for the second night in a row," he said. "But the two points is two points and it was a win we needed."

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Oilers (7-11-1), who remain two points back of both Calgary and Vancouver for third place in the Northwest Division.

Jarret Stoll had both goals for the Oilers, who outshot Minnesota 40-25.

"Two goals as a team is not enough with that many shots," Stoll said. "We have to find ways to score and bear down a little bit. We need the rebounds and screens and all those things. You're not going to snipe it from 30 feet out all the time. You have to get dirty and get the garbage goals, and that's what we're missing.

"It's disappointing because it was all there for us."

Oilers coach Craig MacTavish is tired of his team not winning close games.

"We've been close in a lot of games and can take some satisfaction from that I guess, but I'm passed that point now," he said. "We're creating the opportunities but we're not putting the puck in the back of the net. That's the way you win hockey games."

MacTavish said he needs to get stronger performances from goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who fell to 3-9-1 on the season and is starting to be outplayed by backup Mathieu Garon.

"He's not playing at the level he has played, that's obvious," MacTavish said. "We can't win right now with average goaltending. I don't think there are many teams that can. In my estimation tonight he was average."

Minnesota opened the scoring 4:45 into the first period as Skoula's point shot deflected off Edmonton defender Allan Rourke in front and past Roloson.

Edmonton tied it 1-1 early in the second as Ales Hemsky stole a puck from Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, took it around the net and took a shot that bounced out to Stoll. His backhand beat a diving Backstrom for his second goal of the season.

Stoll got his third of the season 6 minutes later while short-handed as Mikko Koivu lost the puck at the point and Stoll broke away with it was able to slide the puck between Backstrom's legs.

But the Wild tied it at 2 on the same power play just 48 seconds later as Belanger made a nifty backhand pass to Gaborik who knocked his fifth of the season into the open net.

Minnesota took a 3-2 lead in the second as Foster beat Roloson high with a power-play shot with 48 seconds remaining.

Josh Harding replaced Backstrom to start the third period. Backstrom, who has struggled with a groin injury this season, remained on the Minnesota bench.

Game notes


Wingers Gaborik and Stephane Veilleux returned to the lineup for Minnesota. ... Skoula's first-period goal was his first in 113 games. The last time he scored on March 13, 2006, was also against Edmonton.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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