Spurgeon holding puck from 1st NHL goal
Nice night here at the X, when the Wild broke out of its first two-period slumber by exploding in the third for three goals to beat Edmonton 4-1. It was the Wild's 15th straight home win over the Oilers (by a 54-19 score), which is tied for the longest current home win streak by one team over another (Nashville over Columbus). Niklas Backstrom made 20 saves to improve to 6-2-1 in his past nine starts and 13-0 all-time vs. the Oilers at home with a 1.15 goals against average and .955 save percentage. That's the longest home win streak vs. one team by a goalie.
Ex-Oiler Kyle Brodziak scored the winning goal, his 13th of the season, which one less than his career-high. It was also his third goal of the year against his former team. Marty Havlat scored a breakaway goal, his third goal in three games, and he toyed often with the Oilers.
And Oiler killer Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who had a goal and two assists and now has 34 points against Edmonton in 36 games, beat Nikolai Khabibulin for the second time in his life on a spin-o-rama. The first time, in 2006, it came in a shootout in front of Denis Savard when Khabibulin was with Chicago. Tonight it came on a breakaway after Tom Gilbert, who had a nightmarish game, was clobbered by Cal Clutterbuck. Gilbert then fell and Ladislav Smid decided to chase after Clutterbuck, which gave Bouchard the blue line in for a breakaway.
This was tonight:
This was 2006:
Thanks to Nashville and Calgary losing, the Wild moved from 7th to 5th in the West as it heads to California for back-to-back games Thursday and Friday against Los Angeles and Anaheim.
Check out the gamer and the notebook for all the coverage on www.startribune.com/wild.
Nice win for the Wild, one that looked hairy at times, especially in the second period when Antti Miettinen had a chance to turn a 1-0 lead into 2-0.