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This was supposed to be a cake walk. The Oilers are not a very good hockey team, and they didn't even play their top players. Add to that the fact that Nicklas Backstrom is something like 5240-0-1 against the Oilers in his career, and this seemed like a no brainer.
The first period felt familiar, with both teams feeling each other out, getting some chances, but nothing overly memorable. The third and fourth lines for the Wild carried the game through the first, with the best chances going to Nick Johnson and Eric Nystrom. Still, the period would end in a scoreless tie, and Wild fans everywhere feared for the worst.
The jokes were flying as the second period opened. Would the Wild take another nap, allowing the Oilers to take a lead and make them look silly? That question was answered early as the Oilers allowed Pierre-Marc Bouchard to walk out in front of the net all alone and score the opening goal of the game. A sick shot on a backhand that had Dubnyk wishing Bouchard had, indeed passed as everyone expected him to.
The worst moment of the night came on an icing call at the 1:30 mark as Eric Nystrom got a touch on (could be more, no replay) Taylor Fedun on a touch up icing call and Fedun was taken off on a backboard. Reports later in the game were that Fedun's femur is broken. All the best to him, and here's hoping his recovery is as quick as possible and he is back on the ice helping his team.
The frame would come to a close tied at one - one on an Anton Lander backhand, but the period went well for the Wild, all things considered.
The third would Open things up a bit as Mikko Koivu and Devin Setoguchi both blasted home slapshots that left Dubnyk frozen. Unfortunately, the Wild could not clamp down, and the Oilers stormed back with two late goals from Linus Omark and Ryan Jones, tying the game and sending it to overtime. In the preseason. Awesome.
Nothing would come of the extra frame pushing us to a shootout. In the preseason. Awesome.
Koivu, Bouchard, and Setoguchi were all stopped by Dubnyk, and the lone goal from the Oilers in the shootout would be the winner.
The second blown two goal lead of the preseason send the Wild into a week off on a sour note. Hopefully they can find something in Duluth that they haven't found in Saint Paul.Home opener a week from tomorrow.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
1. Anton Lander (1G, 1A, 5 SOG, 6 PIMs)
2. Linus Omark (1G, 1A)
3. Mikko Koivu (1G, 1A)
- Final preseason game. Does the Two Sharks and Finn line claim a new victim? They were good, but not quite good enough. Three points, -6 combined.
Nick Johnson is here. Does he get to stay? At this point, I say yes. He was one of the better players for the Wild tonight.
- Does the second line leave an impression? Yes. Butch was magnificent, and Latendresse had some chances as well.
- Do we experience a second period nap? Not tonight. Well rested.
- How do "The Kids" look for Edmonton? They didn't play, so... good?