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Wild 4, Oilers 2

The SportsXchange

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Dany Heatley, Charlie Coyle and Mikko Koivu scored third-period goals for the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, helping them earn two crucial Northwest Division points in a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Minnesota (11-8-2) dominated play for much of the game, outshooting the Oilers 18-0 in the second period alone, but could not break things open until the opening seconds of the final period when Koivu notched his fourth goal of the season.

Magnus Paajarvi and Sam Gagner scored for Edmonton (8-9-4), and goalie Devan Dubnyk had 39 saves, but the Oilers lost their second game in a row.

By contrast, Minnesota's recent solid play continued, as the Wild improved to 7-3-1 in their last 11 games.

Edmonton native Jared Spurgeon opened the scoring for Minnesota, zipping a shot from the blue line past Dubnyk for an early 1-0 Wild lead. It was the second goal in three games for the Minnesota defenseman.

The Wild spent long stretches of the first period buzzing around Dubnyk but could not extend their lead. Instead, it was Edmonton getting the equalizer late in the first when Paajarvi got three whacks at the puck at the side of the Wild net, and banked his third shot off Niklas Backstrom's right leg and over the goal line. It was the third goal of the season for Paajarvi, who had been a healthy scratch in the Oilers' previous two games.

Backstrom finished with 19 saves for the Wild, who visit the still-undefeated Blackhawks on Tuesday.

NOTES: Wild fans hoping for revenge on Oilers forward Adam Hall will have to wait at least another six weeks or so. Hall, who was suspended two games for an open-ice hit that injured Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck in Minnesota's 3-1 win in Edmonton on Feb. 21, was scratched on Sunday due to a hamstring injury. Clutterbuck, who has not played since the hit, was scratched from his fifth consecutive game. The teams' next meeting is April 16 in Edmonton. ... The Oilers arrived in the Twin Cities on Saturday after a 4-2 loss in St. Louis on Friday night. Several Oilers were in attendance at the University of Minnesota's 5-1 win over the University of Denver on Saturday night in Minneapolis. Also at the game was Minnesota rookie forward Jason Zucker, who played two seasons for Denver before signing with the Wild last April. ... Sunday was the fourth game in the Oilers' season-long nine-game road trip. They have games remaining in Columbus, Detroit, Nashville, Chicago and Colorado before their next home game, March 15 versus the Red Wings.
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