Desperate to get back into playoff contention, the Minnesota Wild travel to Edmonton looking to get two needed points against their Northwest Division rivals, the Oilers.
Minnesota had a three-game winning streak halted Thursday with a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, another Northwest Division rival. The Wild are in 10th place in the Western Conference, five points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the eighth and final playoff spot.
“You couldn’t draw it up any better,” Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster said. “We’ve got to beat a team like Colorado. They’re fighting for a playoff spot, and we can’t just sit on that.”
The Wild are just 6-12-0 against Northwest Division clubs, but they are 5-8 against teams other than the Avalanche.
Backup goaltender Dwayne Roloson is expected to start this game since the Wild are playing on consecutive nights. He has lost his last four starts since making 45 saves in a 4-2 win Jan. 3 at Detroit.
Roloson, though, is just 2-11-0 with a 3.53 goals-against average and .869 save percentage in 15 lifetime games—14 starts—against the Oilers.
Edmonton, which lost 5-2 Wednesday at Colorado, fell behind the Avalanche and into fourth place in the Northwest. Jarret Stoll and Radek Dvorak scored power-play goals for the Oilers, who are 6-for-19 with the man advantage the past three games after going 6-for-61 in the previous nine.
Stoll extended his points streak to seven games and has scored 10 of his 16 goals on the power play.
Oilers right wing Ales Hemsky has four assists in his last three games but has not scored a goal in his last six contests. He has two goals in 12 lifetime games against the Wild.