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Wild at Oilers preview: Minnesota might be Edmonton's bogey team

WILD GAMEDAY

at Edmonton Oilers, Rogers Place, 8 p.m. Friday

TV; radio: BSNX; 100.3 FM

Stats and analytics: Tap here.

Pregame reading: Despite letdown loss in Winnipeg, the Wild play up the positive

Sarah McLellan's preview:

Opening bell: The Wild return to the road where they've had most of their recent success. Their 6-3 loss Tuesday at Winnipeg snapped a five-game win streak for the Wild (26-24-6) away from Xcel Energy Center. They'll kick off a back-to-back in Edmonton, which has dropped just four games over its last 24. But all four of those losses (three in regulation) have come since the All-Star break. On Wednesday, the Oilers (33-18-2) fell in overtime to the Bruins after rallying from being down 4-1.

Watch him: Oilers C Connor McDavid hasn't scored in his last seven games, but he's still been a playmaking machine. McDavid has an eye-popping 14 assists over his past five games and leads the NHL with 64 overall. The Edmonton captain also is on a 20-game point streak at home, racking up 12 goals and 36 assists during that stretch.

Injuries: Wild D Zach Bogosian (upper body), LW Marcus Foligno (lower body), RW Pat Maroon (back) and D Jared Spurgeon (hip/back). Oilers LW Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (illness).

Forecast: This has long been a matchup that favors the Wild, even after superstars McDavid and C Leon Draisaitl joined the series. The Wild have won 23 of their last 33 games vs. the Oilers and 17 of their past 22 games in Edmonton. Although the Oilers rattled off a franchise-record 16-game win streak going into the All-Star break to re-emerge as a Stanley Cup contender, they've been vulnerable since resuming their season. But for the Wild to take advantage, they'll have to stymie Edmonton's speed and skill — perhaps by leveraging their own. Some of the Wild's best displays of late (against Vegas and Vancouver) included being aggressive in the offensive zone.

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