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Boldy scores twice, Wild pick up big victory in Edmonton

EDMONTON, ALBERTA– The out-of-town scoreboard has no loyalty.

Last week, the Wild's competition for a playoff spot kept losing. On Thursday, their rivals won — all four of them, with Seattle and Calgary leapfrogging the Wild.

But their situation improved once they took matters into their own hands.

They overcame blowing a lead and a string of botched power plays to win a make-or-break third period and drop the Oilers 4-2 on Friday at Rogers Place in an appropriate response to falling behind in the playoff race.

"Those games that are the most important are where the really good players step up and play their best, too," goaltender Filip Gustavsson said. "I think most of the guys in here love playing those games when it's really on the line."

The Wild are only two points shy of the last wild card seed in the Western Conference while moving back in front of the Kraken and Flames. They will go head-to-head with Seattle on Saturday.

"For sure you keep track," Jonas Brodin said. "But we've just got to play every game like a playoff game here for the rest of the season."

Tied 1-1 with Edmonton, the Wild received goals from Brodin, Matt Boldy (his second of the game) and Mats Zuccarello in the third period to upstage an Oilers rally that was fueled by their power play.

Also clutch was Gustavsson's performance: He denied all but one shot in the final frame and finished with 41 stops overall in his first appearance since getting pulled in the 10-7 victory over Vancouver on Monday.

"When Gus is playing his best, he's strong at the net front, he's fighting through screens, fighting for rebounds, in those battles and those situations," coach John Hynes said. "He was much improved in those areas and therefore his game was better."

At the other end, Calvin Pickard had 15 saves for Edmonton, which got served a result it probably deserved.

The Wild were the better team early while the Oilers looked slow and lackadaisical. Twice the Wild worked pucks behind Pickard, but only one goal counted.

What would have been Joel Eriksson Ek's team-leading 29th goal, a pretty rising shot, was overturned by an Edmonton challenge that showed Kirill Kaprizov was offside before Eriksson Ek scored.

But that line didn't exit the first empty-handed.

With 23 seconds left in the period, Boldy flung the puck past Pickard from the middle. Eriksson Ek's assist on the play pushed his point streak to a season-long seven games, a span in which he's tallied seven goals and seven assists.

Two tripping penalties against the Oilers early in the second period gave the Wild ample opportunity to extend their advantage, but they whiffed.

Not Edmonton, though.

On the Oilers' first try of the night, they capitalized when Connor McDavid used a no-look backhander to set up Leon Draisaitl from a one-timer from the right side at 10:27.

As for the Wild, their power play went 0-for-4, an off-night for the unit after two solid showings. The Wild had two power play tallies in their 6-3 loss at Winnipeg on Tuesday and who could forget their 4-for-6 takeover during their scoring frenzy against the Canucks a day earlier?

"That power play's going to need to be better," Hynes said.

Not converting on those chances or having more offense to show for their superior start could have been costly because a rejuvenated Edmonton lineup took to the ice in the third.

The Oilers uncorked nine shots in a row before the Wild finally registered one and ultimately outshot the Wild 24-6 in the period.

But during a reprieve from the pressure, Brodin's wind-up sailed by Pickard at 9:31; Brodin has four goals during his past seven games.

"He asked in the second intermission where he was going to shoot standing here next to me and Flower," Gustavsson said. "So, we gave him a few tips."

Then at 12:18, Boldy was left all alone to accept a Ryan Hartman pass and bury his 22nd goal of the season.

"Beginning of the period wasn't great," Boldy said. "But to be able to come back, find two goals quick back-to-back and then kind of lock it down from there and play well was great."

The Oilers power play delivered one more time, at 14:51 from Zach Hyman, but the Wild were airtight the rest of the way and Zuccarello sunk a 136-foot empty-netter with 1:27 to go to polish off a gutsy, much-needed and well-timed victory.

"That's kind of what this part of the season is all about, right?" Jake Middleton said. "It's grinding out wins, and that's what we did here."