Dec 29, 2011, 3:05 PM EST
Tonight at the Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota and Edmonton will face off for the sixth time this season. (Apparently the NHL wanted to get all the Wild-Oilers games out of the way before the New Year.)
For Minnesota, a matchup witht the struggling Oilers offers a great opportunity to end an eight-game losing streak that’s dropped the Wild from first to sixth in the Western Conference. All of a sudden missing the playoffs is in the conversation again, especially with Los Angeles and Calgary playing better.
The culprit? Offense. Minnesota’s managed just 10 goals during its eight-game losing streak.
Wednesday in Nashville, it took a late Dany Heatley tally to break Pekka Rinne’s shutout bid and force overtime. The Predators ended up winning 2-1 in a shootout, but Wild coach Mike Yeo was encouraged.
“For sure it was important, and not just for the sake of getting a point,” Yeo said, as per the Associated Press. “It was a reminder that if we stay with things, if we play our game for 60 minutes, then we are going to have a great chance to win the game. We didn’t win the game today, but I believe we deserved to win it.”
Suffice to say Minnesota needs to beat teams like the Oilers, particularly at home, if making the playoffs is going to happen.
The Wild hosts Phoenix Saturday, then heads out on the road for seven of nine, with tough games in Vancouver, Chicago, St. Louis and Philadelphia.
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 124
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 95
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 107
- Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with non-displaced fracture in back 8
- Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss 14
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand 89
- Shawn Thornton confirms hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety (Updated) 87
- Video: Penguins’ Neal knees Bruins’ Marchand 69
- Penguins announce Brooks Orpik ‘alert and conscious’ (Updated) 47
- Shawn Thornton: ‘People could probably criticize that I’m a little too honorable’ 78
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (180)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (126)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (124)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (106)
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller (95)