The Sports Xchange, Published February 27 2014
Wild shut out OilersEDMONTON, Alberta – The Minnesota Wild secured their hold on a playoff spot while the Edmonton Oilers secured their hold on a place in the draft lottery.
The Oilers struggled terribly against a disciplined Minnesota team that’s been frustrating them for years, getting shut out 3-0 at home as the Wild improved to 8-1 in their last nine visits to Edmonton.
Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper picked up the shutout, stopping 21 shots.
The Oilers remain 29th while Minnesota moved into sixth in the Western Conference.
After stopping 59 shots for a shutout in his last start at Rexall Place, Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens had no chance on the first shot Thursday. A little defensive confusion in the Edmonton end gave Minnesota center Mikael Granlund a wide open look at a wide open net to make it 1-0 at 2 minutes, 4 seconds.
There was not much in the way of offense after that. The shots were 6-6 after 20 minutes as the Oilers and Wild turned in another of their chess matches.
The second period was more of the same – tight checking hockey without a lot of offensive opportunities – but the Wild extended their lead to 2-0 when left winger Stephane Veilleux scored on a one-timer from the high slot at 9:37.
The Oilers, who didn’t get their 10th shot of the game until 30 minutes in, were down 2-0 at the second intermission.
The Oilers, 3-29-1 when trailing after 40 minutes, were forced into comeback mode.
It didn’t work out too well, however, as left winger Dany Heatley made it 3-0 midway through the third period to salt away the contest.
The Wild were 6-2-2 heading into the Olympic break while the Oilers were 5-1-1.
After eight days of practice, much of it spent on the power play, the Oilers managed just three shots on their first four power plays of the game.
It was the eighth time this season the Oilers have been shut out.
Minnesota 3, Edmonton 0
Minnesota 1 1 1— 3
Edmonton 0 0 0— 0
First Period—1, Minnesota, Granlund 6 (Parise, Spurgeon) 2:04.
Second Period—2, Minnesota, Veilleux 2 (Haula, Prosser) 9:37.
Third Period—3, Minnesota, Heatley 12 (Coyle, Niederreiter) 9:29.
Shots on Goal—Minnesota 6-10-5—21. Edmonton 6-10-5—21.
Power-play opportunities—Minnesota 0 of 2. Edmonton 0 of 4.
Goalies—Minnesota Kuemper 9-3-2 (21 shots-21 saves). Edmonton Scrivens 10-9-4 (21-18).