Associated Press, Published October 14 2010
NHL: Moorhead's Matt Cullen has goal and assist in Wild home openerST. PAUL, Minn. – Mikko Koivu scored two of Minnesota’s four power-play goals and the Wild beat the Edmonton Oilers at home for the 14th straight time, 4-2 on Thursday night.
Antti Miettinen and Matt Cullen each had a goal and an assist for Minnesota, which tied the longest current home winning streak against a team. Nashville has beaten Columbus 14 straight times in Tennessee.
Niklas Backstrom stopped 24 shots to improve to 12-0-0 lifetime at home against the Oilers. Minnesota is 9-0-1 in home openers, winning the last nine.
Dustin Penner and Minnesota native Tom Gilbert scored for Edmonton, which has scored more than two goals just once during the St. Paul losing streak.
With Minnesota trailing 2-1, Koivu was all alone at the left edge of the crease for an easy tip of a pass from Cullen at 14:31 of the second period. With Edmonton’s Jim Vandermeer in the penalty box for an interference call 2 seconds after the ensuing faceoff, Koivu was credited with his second goal 52 seconds later after a goalmouth scramble in which Edmonton’s Ladislav Smid accidentally knocked the puck past Nikolai Khabibulin with his skate as the defenseman tried to clear Andrew Brunette out of the crease.
A slap shot by Cullen went off the toe of Gilbert’s skate and into the Edmonton net for another power-play goal 7:37 into the third.
Seven of Minnesota’s eight goals this season have come with the man advantage. Edmonton was successful on all nine of its penalty kills in its first two games, wins over Calgary and Florida.
Miettinen gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal midway through the opening period, tipping a feed from Brunette behind Khabibulin.
Penner tied it on a power play early in the second, taking a feed from Ales Hemsky near the top of the slot and putting it between Backstrom’ pads. It was Penner’s second goal in two games.
Gilbert, who grew up about 15 miles from the arena, scored on a slap shot to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead midway through the second.