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The Day After 24.0: The winning streak reaches six games as Oilers rally past Wild

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Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
2 months ago
The last time the Oilers faced the Wild, Edmonton had a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of play but wound up taking the loss after allowing five goals in the third period.
For a few minutes, Friday’s rematch in Edmonton looked like it might go in a similar direction.
The Oilers peppered Marc-Andre Fleury with shots in the first period and finally broke through with five minutes left in the frame thanks to an Evan Bouchard snipe. The Wild came out of the gates flying in the second period and scored twice in just 41 seconds to take a 2-1 lead.
The bleeding stopped quickly, though, as Connor McDavid scored a beautiful goal under one minute after Minnesota’s second to tie the score. The Wild added another goal later in the second but Leon Draisaitl wired a one-timer home on the power play to knot the score again.
Early in the third, Evander Kane lured Ryan Hartman into a penalty and Bouchard clapped home his second goal of the game to put the Oilers up 3-2. They closed the door the rest of the way, with Stuart Skinner making 17 saves on 20 shots all told.
Comparing this win over the Wild to the loss Edmonton suffered in Minnesota a month and a half ago nicely shows how the team has turned things around. A quick goal or two against doesn’t deflate the Oilers and start a game-changing rally and the power play is back to operating at a pace that massively helps the team outscore a lot of their problems.
Edmonton is now 11-12-1 on the season, five points back of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. They leaped over Minnesota with that win, and now they have to get past the Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues, and Nashville Predators, who have all played two more games to this point than the Oilers have.

THE DAY AFTER IS PRESENTED BY BETWAY


What they said…

Defenceman Evan Bouchard on scoring two goals in the win over Minnesota…
“I think it’s more so when the team’s doing well, individuals do well,” Bouchard said. “I think that’s the case right now.
“The more you get to play with [McDavid and Draisaitl], the more confident you are. I just try to put them in good spots, like they do to me. They put me in good position when they put it in my wheelhouse to hit it, and I think they’re good with it too.”
Goaltender Stuart Skinner on Bouchard having one of the best shots in the league…
“[Bouchard] does have a bomb,” Skinner said. “It’s pretty incredible how hard he can shoot it. “He’s got potentially the hardest shot in the NHL. It actually prepares me for a lot of games, especially when I’m getting [one-timers] off the right side, maybe from a guy like Alex Ovechkin.”
Head coach Kris Knoblauch on not losing focus after Minnesota’s two quick goals…
“We dominate for 20 minutes and then we’re down 2-1, and that’s tough,” Knoblauch said. “But I liked how our guys handled it. We stayed the course. We didn’t change our game plan. I didn’t hear complaining. I didn’t hear frustration and I didn’t see any frustration on the bench. We were able to recover from it, where maybe three or four weeks ago might be a different story.”
Knoblauch on what’s working during the team’s six-game winning streak…
“I think guys feel good about themselves, but there isn’t any complacency,” Knoblauch said. “They know that we have a huge hole to get out of. I think there’s obviously the confidence of winning, and when there’s an opportunity to put a game away or win a game like tonight on the power play, it was, ‘Alright, let’s go get this,’ and they were able to execute. I like where our guys are at.

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