The Edmonton Oilers continue their season-high five-game homestand Thursday, when they host the Northwest Division-rival Minnesota Wild. After opening the homestand with a loss to the Dallas Stars, Edmonton scored five unanswered goals against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday to post a 6-4 win. The Oilers appeared headed to overtime Tuesday before Jeff Carter scored with 49.6 seconds remaining in the third period to snap a tie and lead the Los Angeles Kings to victory.
Minnesota is coming off an impressive 3-2 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. The Wild fell behind 2-0 before Dany Heatley, rookie Jason Zucker and Torrey Mitchell scored in a 4:10 span midway through the second period. Darcy Kuemper made 29 saves en route to his first career victory in just his second NHL start.
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, FSN North, FSN Wisconsin (Minnesota), Rogers Sportsnet West (Edmonton)
ABOUT THE WILD (7-6-2): In addition to Kuemper, Sunday's game was a big one for Minnesota's goal scorers. Heatley snapped a nine-game drought, Mitchell netted his first as a member of the Wild and Zucker tallied for the first time in seven career contests. The matchup with Detroit also was huge for left wing Johan Larsson, who made his NHL debut. Captain Mikko Koivu played in his 503rd game for Minnesota on Sunday, passing Marian Gaborik for third place on the franchise list. The Wild hope Niklas Backstrom is healthy enough to play Thursday. The 35-year-old Finn, who missed Sunday's game due to illness, is 22-3-1 with four shutouts and a 1.81 goals-against average in 28 career meetings with Edmonton.
ABOUT THE OILERS (6-6-3): Edmonton was dealt a form of poetic justice Tuesday, save for the fact it did not earn a point. In their Jan. 24 home meeting with Los Angeles, the Oilers scored with five seconds remaining in the third period to forge a tie and won it on a power-play goal in overtime. Nikolai Khabibulin said it best after his 35-save performance. "They did to us what we did to them last game," the goaltender said. Edmonton is 1-2-2 in its last five home games and has won just two of its last eight overall (2-3-3)
1. Minnesota has scored three goals in two consecutive games after netting two or less in each of its previous seven contests.
2. The Oilers wrap up their homestand Saturday against Phoenix before embarking on a nine-game road trip.
3. The Wild are 4-0-1 in their last six visits to Edmonton and have won 36 of the last 53 overall meetings between the teams.
PREDICTION: Oilers 3, Wild 2