Friday evening NHL action and the Central Division will square off with the Pacific Division as the Minnesota Wild duke it out with the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. The Wild will be playing on no rest as they have a game in Calgary on Thursday night, while the Oilers check in off a 3-2 shootout win over the Blues on the road. The Wild won the first meeting (On the road) by a score of 4-3.
Minnesota Grabs Much-Needed Win Against The Canucks
The Minnesota Wild have been struggling a bit of late, so grabbing a road win over the Canucks was big for them. Minnesota had lost five of their previous seven games and they are now 15-12 on the year and seven points out of first in the Central Division. The Wild hope to build off that win against the Canucks and they have a good shot at doing so as Minnesota has gone 14-2 in their last 16 games here in Edmonton. Still, it will not be easy as the Oilers can play well at home. The Wild beat the Canucks by a score of 3-2 and scoring in the win was Zach Parise, which was his 13th of the year, Ryan Suter, which was his 4th and Jason Zucker, which was his 9th.
Grabbing the win against the Canucks was Devan Dubnyk, who stopped 29 of the 31 shots that he faced to improve to 10-10 with a 2.68 GAA and a .911 save percentage on the year. Alex Stalock is getting the start in Calgary, so Dubnyk will be back in the crease for this one and he has gone 5-4 with a 2.36 GAA and a .919 save percentage on the road, while in his career, he has gone 9-2 with a 1.34 GAA against the Oilers. The Wild enter this game ranked 12th in scoring at 3.19 gpg and 11th in goals allowed at 2.85 gpg.
Oilers Take Down The Blues On The Road
The Edmonton Oilers had been inconsistent at times this year, but they could be turning things around. The Oilers come in off a nice 3-2 shootout win over the Blues on the road, and they have now won four of their last five games to pull to within six points of first place in the Pacific Division. St Louis did hold a 2-0 lead after the first period, but the Oilers fought back and eventually won the game in a shootout with Connor McDavid getting the deciding goal. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (7th) and Oscar Klefbom (3rd) both scored in the win. Klefbom’s goal came with just 56 seconds left in regulation to tie the game.
Grabbing the win against the Blues was Cam Talbot, who stopped 28 of the 30 shots that he faced to move to 6-10 with a 3.19 GAA and a .892 save percentage on the year, while here at home he has gone 2-5 with a 3.76 GAA and a .876 GAA. In his career, he has gone 4-7 with a 2.58 HGAA against the Wild. We may see Mikko Koskinen in this one, and he has gone 8-4 with a 2.23 GAA and a .925 save percentage on the year, including 5-0 with a 1.07 GAA and a .966 save percentage at home. This would be his first meeting with the Wild. The Oilers enter this game ranked 26th in the league in scoring at 2.61 gpg and 18th in goals allowed at 3.04 gpg.
- 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest
- 4-1 in their last 5 home games
- 1-5 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home recor