Pierre-Marc Bouchard has goal, assist to lead Wild to 4-1 win over Edmonton

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Last season, Minnesota chased Edmonton for a Western Conference playoff berth. The roles are reversed this year.

The Oilers (30-27-6), in ninth place, are nine points behind seventh-place Minnesota. Calgary, the Wild's opponent on Wednesday, is in eighth.

Edmonton will have several more chances to gain ground on the Wild as the teams will meet four times in the final 19 games.

Fernando Pisani scored his first goal since Jan. 31 seven minutes into the third period to cut the Wild's lead to 2-1.

Minnesota answered a minute later when Pavol Demitra set up Marian Gaborik during a 2-on-1 for his sixth goal in seven games.

The Wild scored late in the first when Todd White took a pass from Bouchard and poked the puck past former Wild goalie Dwayne Roloson. Bouchard added an empty-net goal.

Brent Burns made it 2-0 late in the second with a flukey power-play goal. After fumbling with the puck in front of the blue line, Burns decided to shoot instead of pass. He sneaked a drive in past a confused Roloson.

Backstrom turned in another solid performance since stepping into the lineup for injured starter Manny Fernandez. Backstrom has gone 7-2-1 in that span and 8-2-2 in his last 12 games. He is third in the NHL with a .923 save percentage for Minnesota, which will play seven of 10 on the road.

The loss ended a disappointing seven-game road trip for the Oilers. After starting 0-2-2 on its longest excursion of the season, Edmonton won the next two games, including a victory Friday at Detroit that snapped the Red Wings' 13-game home winning streak.

Notes: Ben Utecht, a former Minnesota Gophers tight end and current member of the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, sang the national anthem. ... Wild D Petteri Nummelin played for the first time since Feb. 17. He was benched the previous three games. ... Oilers D Ladislav Smid left with a right leg injury in the first period and didn't return.



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