Coyle's late goal lifts Wild past Oilers
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) A trip to Edmonton usually seems to be able to break the Minnesota Wild out of a funk.
Charlie Coyle scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:23 remaining to lift the Wild to a 2-1 victory over the Oilers on Tuesday night. Nino Niederreiter also scored as Minnesota snapped a two-game skid and won for the third time in its last 11 games.
''It's good to get the two points and definitely some opportunities to learn a few lessons in that game. But overall, we did a lot of good things too,'' Wild head coach Mike Yeo said. ''Charlie's goal couldn't have come at a better time. We had started to lose momentum because of the turnovers that we had and so when you get an opportunity like that and you get to capitalize on it, that's obviously huge.''
Devan Dubnyk stopped 23 shots for Minnesota.
Wild assistant captain Zach Parise was relieved his team was able to hang on, as they didn't seem to have much jump on their return from the NHL All-Star break.
''It was a pretty boring game, there is not much going either way, just a lot of chipping pucks, throwing it off the glass, not much in the way of sustained pressure either way,'' he said. ''Fortunately we were able to win, but there was not much going on.
''That first game coming back is always a tough one.''
Boyd Gordon scored for the Oilers, who snapped a rare two-game winning streak and dropped to 3-20-8 this season against fellow Western Conference opponents. Viktor Fasth finished with 27 saves.
''It was one of those games that we could have seen ourselves winning, but we had too many turnovers,'' Gordon said. ''We didn't get a lot of pucks at the net either, especially for the first couple of periods. It wasn't good enough to win tonight.
''It was one of those games that we kind of let slip away.''
On the winning goal, Jordan Eberle lost the puck on a drop pass and Coyle went in on a breakaway. He waited for Fasth to commit, then tucked the puck behind him on his way behind the net. It was Coyle's fifth goal of the season.
''They got a turnover outside of our blue-line and he made a pretty move, you have got to give it to him,'' Fasth said. ''I got caught a bit far out I think, but the guy made a great move.''
Coyle acknowledged he was at the right place at the right time, and took advantage.
''It was a turnover by them and I happened to be there,'' Coyle said. ''I saw a clear lane and I just tried taking it to the net, luckily I finished it off and it rolled in, so it was nice.''
Minnesota scored 9 minutes into the first period as Edmonton's Nail Yakupov completely lost control of a puck in front of his own net on a horrendous giveaway to Justin Fontaine, who quickly passed it to Niederreiter for a gift goal. It was Niederreiter's first goal in 17 games and 15th of the season.
Wild assistant captain Zach Parise took an errant puck in the mouth with just over 7 minutes remaining in the opening period and left the game. He returned to start the second.
Minnesota had 10 shots in the first 20 minutes, while Edmonton responded with five.
Edmonton's best chance in the first half of the game came midway through the second when Justin Schultz had a partial breakaway and got Dubnyk to go down on the play before the Wild goalie made an impressive glove save to deflect the puck over the net.
The Oilers tied it with 2:44 left in the second period as Gordon's backhand wraparound from behind the net hit the skate of Minnesota's Kyle Brodziak in front and deflected into the net.
Edmonton had a power play for the final 1:22 of the game and pulled Fasth for the sixth attacker, but was unable to tie it.
NOTES: It was the first of three meetings between the two teams this season. Minnesota was 2-0-1 against the Oilers last season and came into the game having won eight of their last nine visits to Edmonton. ... Oilers forward Taylor Hall sat out after taking a shot to the leg in practice on Monday. ... Dubnyk made his first start against his former team since a trade brought him to the Wild from Arizona on Jan. 14. Dubnyk made three appearances against Edmonton with the Coyotes earlier this season, going 3-0-0 with a 0.97 goals-against average. ... Minnesota C Mikael Granlund was back in the lineup after missing 13 games following wrist surgery from an injury sustained in a game on Dec. 27. ... Wild G Darcy Kuemper was assigned to Iowa of the AHL for a conditioning stint on Monday. Minnesota also recalled D Stu Bickel from Iowa.