Head coach Mike Yeo talked about not overlooking the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday morning before the Minnesota Wild’s morning skate. His team apparently did not get the message until it was too late in a 2-1 loss at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild took the game over in the second and third periods with more shots on goal, more attempted shots and more scoring chances. They did not convert those scoring chances and it cost them.
“We weren’t able to generate much, weren’t able to get going on (in the first period),” Jason Pominville said. “We made a few changes, create a spark by switching the lines up a bit. You could tell as the game went on we did some better things, but weren’t able to find a way to put one in tonight.”
The Wild (31-22-7) peppered Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens with 28 shots on goal over the final two periods, but had 20 shots blocked and missed the net on 10 others over that span. The Oilers did a good job of taking shooting lanes away, while the Wild did not create lanes and were too late when they were there.
“Despite being kind of hemmed in there, I thought we managed it as best we could,” Scrivens said. “They got some looks, but I was able to see a lot of the shots. That’s a credit to the (defensemen) and the way they played in front. We had some big blocks in the last two periods. When there was a rebound, the guys battled it out hard in front. (The Wild) didn’t get too many extra whacks at it.”
Former Wild first round draft pick Benoit Pouliot took advantage of the Wild’s sloppy and lackluster play in the first period with a pair of goals. He got the scoring started at the 11:12 mark with a backdoor tap-in off a short 2-on-1 rush with Jordan Eberle. The Wild failed to clear and were caught heading up ice too early. He scored the game-winner just 32 seconds after the Wild tied the game. He one-timed another pass from Eberle past Devan Dubnyk with four minutes and 14 seconds remaining in the first period.
The Oilers (18-34-10) controlled most of the first period and had a 9-6 edge in shots on goal while attempting eight more shots than the Wild.
“That was one of our best first periods this year,” Scrivens said. “We were playing in their zone quite a bit. We didn’t really give up too much in our own zone.”
Thomas Vanek got the Wild on the board to even the game at the 15:14 mark of the first period. He knocked a pass from Jordan Schroeder into the open net behind Scrivens.
No. 3 – Jordan Eberle. The Oilers forward recorded two assists.
No. 2 – Ben Scrivens. The Oilers goaltender stopped 33 shots.
No. 1 – Benoit Pouliot. The Oilers forward scored two goals.
Edmonton……2 0 0 – 2
Minnesota……1 0 0 – 1
First Period – 1, Edmonton, Pouliot 12 (Eberle, Klefbom), 11:12. 2, Minnesota, Vanek 13 (Schroeder, Coyle), 15:14. 3, Edmonton, Pouliot 13 (Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins), 15:46. Penalties – Parise, MIN (hooking), 8:06; Parise, MIN (high sticking), 17:34.
Second Period – None. Penalties – Petry, EDM (tripping), :30.
Third Period – None. Penalties – Eberle, EDM (slashing), 2:38; Gordon, EDM (delay of game-puck over glass), 8:55.
Shots on goal – Edmonton 9-5-5 19. Minnesota 6-13-15 34.
Goalies – Edmonton, Scrivens (33-34). Minnesota, Dubnyk (17-19). Referees – Brad Watson, Jean Hebert. Linesmen – Ryan Galloway, Vaughan Rody.