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GAMEDAY: Wild at Oilers

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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GAMEDAY: Wild at Oilers
Minnesota Wild vs. Edmonton Oilers
WildPlayer
Minnesota Wild (7-6-2: 16 points, T-10th in Western Conference, 2nd in Northwest Division) at Edmonton Oilers (6-6-3: 15 points, T-13th in Western Conference, T-3rd in Northwest Division)
If it seems like a long time since the Wild has faced the Edmonton Oilers—it has been. Thanks to the lockout and a quirk in last year’s schedule, Minnesota hasn’t visited Rexall Place since Dec. 22, 2011. The last time the division rivals met was seven days later at Xcel Energy Center, a 4-3 Wild victory. Last season, the Wild went 4-2-0 against the Oilers, including a 2-1-0 mark in Edmonton.

Tonight marks the first time that Tom Gilbert will face his old mates after coming to the Wild in deal for defenseman Nick Schultz. The Bloomington native spent the first six years of his career in the Oilers’ organization.

Niklas Backstrom missed last game because of an illness, but will get the nod in net tonight. Last season, Backstrom went 4-1-0 with a 2.10 goals against average and a .924 save percentage against the Oilers.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard also will be back in the lineup after missing the last game with an illness. It's good to have Bouchard back because he leads the Wild in scoring against the Oilers with 41 points (12-29=41) in 44 contests, his highest point total versus any team.

Sunday, the Wild skated to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota fell into a 2-0 hole before charging back in the second half of the game. Dany Heatley got things rolling with his fifth goal of the season. Heatley hammered home a Mikko Koivu rebound from the slot. Zach Parise picked up the second assist on the play. Jason Zucker tied the score on a cost-to-coast rush for his first NHL goal. Torrey Mitchell scored the winner, his first in a Wild sweater with the assist going to Mikael Granlund. Darcy Kuemper made 25 saves to net his first NHL win.

Tuesday, the Oilers dropped a 3-1 home game against the Los Angels Kings. Sam Gagner scored Edmonton’s lone goal. Nikolai Khabibulin suffered the loss, while making 33 saves in the game.
Meet The Oilers If You're Going
The Oilers stand one point behind Minnesota in the Northwest Division. Edmonton plays two home games (vs. Phoenix on Saturday) before hitting the road for a nine-game, 17-day road trip.

The Oilers are headlined up front by a number of young high-draft picks. Same Gagner and Taylor Hall lead the team with 16 points apiece. Last summer’s first overall pick, Nail Yakupov, is tied for second on the team in goals with five.
At every Edmonton home game, one child will be selected to stand with five Oilers for the singing of the national anthem as part of the ENMAX Energy Kid program.

The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters. 
Who's Hot Gameday Media
In the two games since being reunited, Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise and Dany Heatley have reestablished its early season chemistry. Koivu and Heatley have a goal and two assists, while Parise has a goal and an assist. Koivu and Parise lead the team in scoring with 12 points, while Heatley is right behind them with nine.

Fans can guess who's going to be hot with the Wild's HotBox Fantasy Challenge presented by the Pioneer Press for a chance to win great prizes.
 
Wild.com
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Yeo Gameday | Gilbert
PONDcast
Wild Gameday (coming soon)
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
Pierre-Marc Bouchard will reenter the lineup:

Parise-Koivu-Heatley
Zucker-Cullen-Setoguchi
Bouchard-Brodziak-Clutterbuck
Mitchell-Granlund-Rupp

The blue line will remain the same as last outing:

Suter – Spurgeon
Gilbert – Brodin
Prosser – Stoner

Backstrom is 22-3-1 with a 1.81 GAA, a .933 SV% and four shutouts in 28 starts against the Oilers.
View From The Press Box
We’ll get a look at a lot of good young players tomorrow…this game is not about their young guys against our young guys; It’s about the Minnesota Wild versus the Edmonton Oilers.  

- Yeo on team's youth
Defenseman Justin Falk and forwards Johan Larsson and Zenon Konopka will be tonight’s healthy scratches.

Josh Harding didn't make the trip as he deals with multiple sclerosis.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
Nick Schultz spent parts of 10 seasons with the Wild (2001- 12). He is the franchise leader in games played (743) and ranks 10th all time in points and seventh in assists (26-102=128). C Eric Belanger collected 108 points (39-69=108) in 214 games with the Wild (2007-10). LW Ryan Jones was drafted by the Wild in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. C Chris VandeVelde is a native of Moorhead. A quirk in the 2011-12 schedule saw all six Wild/Oilers games happen before the New Year; tonight marks the team’s first matchup in 420 days since 12/29/11. At most, eight Wild skaters remain on the roster from that game.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild at Oilers will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 8:30 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.

Click here to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.

Wild.com
Prospects Report - Feb. 20 | Wild Hires Brunette | Wild Recalls Two | Five Takes vs. DET
WildTV
Becoming Wild: Koivu's 500th | Brunette Press Conference
PONDcast
Prospects
Photo Gallery
Wild vs. DET - Feb. 17
2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 26 '13EDM 6 at MIN 1T. Hall
Apr 16 '13MIN 5 at EDM 3Z. Parise
Mar 03 '13EDM 2 at MIN 4C. Coyle
Feb 21 '13MIN 3 at EDM 1D. Setoguchi
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
Z. Parise167512+0831
M. Koivu163912-11000
D. Heatley16549-2621
M. Cullen16369+1200
R. Suter16099-4800
T. Gilbert16358-41010
D. Setoguchi16336-11222
M. Granlund15156-2400
C. Clutterbuck16224+0600
P. Bouchard14213+2801
J. Brodin13033+0200
K. Brodziak16112-6200
T. Mitchell14112-3401
C. Stoner16022+0900
M. Rupp15101-11200
M. Scandella6101-1400
J. Zucker2101+2000
J. Falk14011-3900
J. Spurgeon7011-2000
Z. Konopka14000+05200
N. Prosser8000+3200
D. Powe8000+1900
C. Coyle5000-1200
J. Larsson1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Backstrom126-4-2273252.28.917
J. Harding41-1-07612.92.885
D. Kuemper21-1-04612.02.934
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Gagner1651116-51221
T. Hall1631316-12300
J. Eberle165611-5431
A. Hemsky167310-5840
N. Yakupov16549-91231
J. Schultz16448-6240
R. Nugent-Hopkins15167-1400
R. Smyth15235-13000
R. Whitney12033-6600
M. Paajarvi13202-2402
S. Horcoff7112-2410
L. Smid16022-33100
T. Hartikainen15022-4400
E. Belanger13022+1800
M. Fistric10022+3800
L. Petrell13101-6200
N. Schultz16011-9200
B. Eager7011-11700
A. Lander4011-1200
J. Petry16000-41000
C. Potter9000-4400
C. VandeVelde5000-1200
D. Hordichuk4000-1200
M. Arcobello1000+0000
T. Peckham1000-1200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
D. Dubnyk145-5-3364322.78.917
N. Khabibulin31-2-05841.91.940
Y. Danis10-0-00140.001.000
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