Fernandez stopped 34 shots for his first shutout of the season and the Wild beat the Oilers 1-0 Wednesday night, extending Edmonton’s winless streak to six games.
“He was in a zone,” Wild captain Richard Park said of Fernandez. “He’s seeing the puck really well.”
Marian Gaborik scored in the first period for the Wild, who stopped a five-game winless streak with their first regulation victory over Edmonton.
“It’s always a battle against them,” Gaborik said.
The Oilers had scored just three goals in three games heading into Wednesday’s contest and they came out firing early against Fernandez. Edmonton tested him with 14 shots in the first period.
Edmonton also had chances late in the game, but couldn’t get a shot past Fernandez.
“We had all kinds of opportunity in the third period, territorially,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. “It means nothing really to hold as big a territorial advantage as we did in the third period unless you put the puck in the back of the net.”
One of Fernandez’s better saves came when he robbed Adam Oates as he attempted to bang home a one-timer from just outside the crease.
Fernandez also made a big save on Cory Cross midway through the third period, stopping the defenseman’s shot from a few feet out. He also smothered a cross-ice pass from Raffi Torres pass in the closing minutes.
“His angles were perfect,” Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. “A lot of shots, they were in front and he came out to block them.”
The Oilers’ power play played its part in the loss, as the unit failed to record a shot during a two-man advantage for the first 1:42 of the third period. Edmonton was 0-for-3 overall with the man advantage.
“I don’t want to say it was a backbreaker for them,” Park said of the two-man advantage, “but I’m sure they lost a lot of momentum from that.”
Ty Conklin made 30 saves for Edmonton, which has lost five of six during its winless streak. In their last three games, the Oilers have just two goals on 111 shots.
“We’ve got to get hungry to score goals,” MacTavish said. “The effort was there, it was decent execution against a trap team, we didn’t turn the puck over that much, we did a lot of the things we set out to do with the one exception.
“We failed at the main objective of the game, which is to put the puck in the net.”
Gaborik got Minnesota on the board with a power-play goal at 10:09 of the opening period. With Alexei Semenov serving a holding penalty, Gaborik tipped Andrei Zyuzin’s point shot high over Conklin for his third of the season.
Conklin gave Edmonton a chance to stay in the game by making several tough saves. On a Minnesota power play late in the second, Conklin made four crucial stops when the Oilers were unable to clear the puck for almost the entire two minutes.
“We didn’t get a lot of bounces,” Conklin said. “I think if we just keepworking hard, we’re going to get those bounces.”
: Conklin was honored before the game for earning the most three-star points in November. … Several scouts were in attendance, fueling speculation that some Oilers might be on the trading block. … Edmonton is 12-1-2-2against the Wild.