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Associated Press Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, right, deflects the puck away from the Shawn Horcoff of the Edmonton Oilers during the third period Wednesday in Edmonton.

Wild outlasts Oilers to set team record for most wins in a month

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sports Willmar,Minnesota 56201
West Central Tribune
Wild outlasts Oilers to set team record for most wins in a month
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild are quickly becoming the story of the young NHL season.

Kyle Brodziak scored in regulation and added the winner in the sixth round of the shootout as the Wild beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Wednesday night to move into first place in the NHL standings.


Devin Setoguchi also scored in regulation for the Western Conference's Wild (15-7-3), who jumped past Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh with their seventh win in nine games. Niklas Backstrom made 28 saves for the win, which gave Minnesota a team-record 11 wins in a month. The Wild were 11-4 in November.

Brodziak, traded to Minnesota by Edmonton at the 2009 NHL draft, has had a knack of coming back to haunt his former team.

"I don't know why that happens, but it feels good," he said.

The Wild lost forwards Cal Clutterbuck and Darrol Powe in the game, but still managed to charge to victory despite being short-handed on the bench.

"You're down 2-0, and a couple of guys are hurt. Those are games that are sometimes easy to just pack it in," Brodziak said. "It makes it that much harder to stick with the game plan and keep pushing forward. It's a testament to the guys how everyone stuck together. We didn't break and it paid off."

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle had goals for the Oilers (12-10-3), who have lost three straight. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 27 shots.

"They scored a goal in the second period on us and we went, 'Uh-oh' and backed off instead of going after them," Edmonton coach Tom Renney said. "This is our rink. We have to win here, and in the second period, especially, we were just too easy to play against."

Bad blood from the previous meeting between the teams created a rough start in the rematch. Edmonton's Darcy Hordichuk and Minnesota's Brad Staubitz dropped the gloves at 2:12 in an anticipated fight.

Edmonton took a 1-0 lead at 9:58 when defenseman Andy Sutton made a beautiful pass from the half boards to Nugent-Hopkins, who scored his 11th goal.

The Oilers doubled their advantage with a power-play goal 5:10 into the second when Shawn Horcoff tipped Nugent-Hopkins' pass to Eberle, who buried a backhand.

The Wild cut the deficit to 2-1 at 11:31 off a giveaway by Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert. Setoguchi tipped in a pass from Mikko Koivu, who extended his point streak to seven games -- tying a career high.

The Wild tied it 3:20 later during a power play as Brodziak, a former Oilers player, had his rebound bounce off his body and dribble under Khabibulin. The play stood after a video review.

Wild 3, Oilers 2

Minnesota 0 2 0 0--3

Edmonton 1 1 0 0--2

Minnesota won shootout 4-3

First Period--1, Edmonton, Nugent-Hopkins 11 (Sutton, Eberle), 9:58. Penalties--Staubitz, Min, major (fighting), 2:12; Hordichuk, Edm, major (fighting), 2:12; Lundin, Min (holding), 2:52; Brodziak, Min (tripping), 10:42; Edmonton bench, served by Hemsky (too many men), 12:30; Jones, Edm (goaltender interference), 16:18; Smid, Edm (cross-checking), 17:02.

Second Period--2, Edmonton, Eberle 9 (Horcoff, Nugent-Hopkins), 5:10 (pp). 3, Minnesota, Setoguchi 8 (Koivu, Heatley), 11:31. 4, Minnesota, Brodziak 6 (Johnson, Scandella), 14:51 (pp). Penalties--Zanon, Min (roughing), 4:31; Sutton, Edm (interference), 12:56; Johnson, Min (high-sticking), 14:55.

Third Period--None. Penalties--Peckham, Edm (roughing), 4:44.

Overtime--None. Penalties--Smyth, Edm (tripping), 3:07.

Shootout--Minnesota 4 (Bouchard G, Koivu G, Cullen NG, Setoguchi NG, Heatley G, Brodziak G), Edmonton 3 (Eberle G, Hemsky NG, Gagner G, Nugent-Hopkins NG, Horcoff G, Smyth NG).

Shots on goal--Minnesota 7-10-9-3--29. Edmonton 9-8-12-1--30.

Power-play Opportunities--Minnesota 1 of 6; Edmonton 1 of 4.

Goalies--Minnesota, Backstrom 9-5-2 (30 shots-28 saves). Edmonton, Khabibulin 9-5-3 (29-27).

A--16,839 (16,839). T--2:48.