EDMONTON, Alberta -- So much for being embarrassed into playing competitive hockey. The Edmonton Oilers settled instead for just being embarrassed.
A day after general manager Steve Tambellini was fired after five straight losses, the Oilers responded with a hapless-and-lifeless 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild.
Instead of rallying, or at least trying to save face, they looked as bad as they have all season, which is saying something.
"It's painful to lose games like this, especially at home, getting scored on early every period," frustrated Oilers winger Taylor Hall said. "We let down Tamby, with him getting let go the other day. That's probably a big reason why, the way we played after the deadline.
"It's not fun. It certainly (stinks) to lose and everybody is really, really sick of it."
The fans certainly are, which is why they booed the Oilers off their own ice for second time in as many games.
"It's always tough hearing the crowd boo," Edmonton captain Shawn Horcoff said. "But playing the way we are and finishing the way we are, it's going to happen."
But while the Oilers were wallowing in their seventh straight season out of the playoffs, the Wild are right in the mix, tied for fifth place in the West with five games to go after sweeping back-to-back games in Alberta (4-3 over Calgary).
"At this time of year, you just have to win in order to get in," Wild winger Devin Setoguchi said. "We know where we're at, we just have to keeping on winning games."
Minnesota hasn't clinched yet, but it controls its fate, and that's a good feeling to have in mid-April.
"In the past with Buffalo, we've been on the outside trying to creep in," trade deadline acquisition Jason Pomminville said. "This year, we're on the inside trying to climb. I'd much rather be in this position and keep finding ways to improve and keep climbing.
"The most important thing for us to do is take care of our own game. If we do that, I like our chances."
The Wild jumped on the Oilers early, just 1:01 after the opening faceoff when former Oiler Kyle Brodziak pounced on a Sam Gagner giveaway and scored. It marked the third time in the last five games that Edmonton gave up a goal in the first 90 seconds of the first period.
The Oilers tied it 15 minutes later when a puck got caught up in the sweater of Minnestoa defenseman Brett Clark and then squirted out to rookie Nail Yakupov, who put it in the back the Wild net before anyone knew what happened. It was Yakupov's ninth point in the past 10 games, making him Edmonton's leading scorer during that span.
It was all downhill from there, though, as far as the Oilers were concerned. The Wild went ahead 2-1 on a point shot from Charlie Coyle 2:56 into the second period and took a 3-1 lead when Mikael Granlund was left alone in the slot to bury a rebound at 6:23.
The Oilers struggled to generate much of anything through 40 minutes, putting just 13 shots on goal.
The Wild piled on in the third period, with goals from Brodziak and Zach Parise.
The Oilers, as they so often do, launched a late rally with goals from Horcoff and Magnus Paajarvi to make the score look closer than it was.
"We felt like the pendulum was swinging the other direction," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "What's really important for us is we make sure we keep that momentum now."
NOTES: Boston-born Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney had close friends who finished the Boston Marathon moments before the explosions Monday. They weren't injured. "His dad was standing right under those flags with his mother. It was crazy how lucky they got," Whitney said. "It was just a really sad day." ... Right winger Jordan Eberle missed the morning skate to attend a funeral but was back in time for the game... Forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard has 41 points in 46 games against Edmonton, his highest total against any team... Tuesday was Hall's first against Minnesota since sidelining Cal Clutterbuck for six games with a knee on Feb. 21... The Wild are 12-2 in their past 14 games in Edmonton. Their 18 victories in Edmonton are the most in any road arena... Wild goalie Nick Backstrom is 25-3-1 all time against the Oilers with a 1.79 goals-against average and .933 save percentage