EDMONTON, Alberta – Usually, the puck would disappear under Devan Dubnyk's glove or would burrow somewhere in his pads.
But not this time.
A harmless-looking dump-in bounced off Dubnyk and pinballed around the crease until Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins deposited it behind the Wild goalie.
"I can handle those," Dubnyk said. "I need to handle those."
The sequence didn't just capture how the Wild started to unravel Friday, ultimately getting overwhelmed 7-2 by the Oilers, it also symbolized how a three-game road trip that started out promising drained into a pool of disappointment.
Not only did the Wild finish the trek 1-2 to boast only four victories over the past 12 games, but the team wrapped up the week's action without captain Mikko Koivu; he was sent home to get a lower-body injury evaluated.
"It's a test of character now," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "You either bounce back, or you start blaming everybody else."
Without Koivu, the Wild shuffled its lines, and the new look had a slow start that paved the way for the Oilers to capitalize in front of an announced 18,347 at Rogers Place.
Leon Draisaitl buried a cross-ice feed from Oilers captain Connor McDavid past Dubnyk's blocker 4 minutes, 14 seconds into the game.
Only 3:30 later, Nugent-Hopkins scored off that scramble in front after Dubnyk bobbled the initial shot on net.
And just 58 seconds after that, the Oilers rang up their third goal — a mesmerizing play from McDavid, who peeled off the boards and faked a shot in the slot before wiring the puck top-shelf on Dubnyk.
That goal chased Dubnyk from the game. He was replaced by backup Alex Stalock.
"I take a lot of pride in just kind of calming things down if it's feeling a little crazy, and obviously that just fuels the situation," Dubnyk said. "I'll definitely take responsibility for that."
It was an unfortunate performance for Dubnyk, who was unable to build off his strong showing in the third period of the 3-2 victory at Vancouver on Tuesday. He surrendered three goals on only six shots.
Stalock posted 22 saves in relief.
"I'm concerned about a lot of guys on this team right now," Boudreau said. "[Dubnyk's] not the only one."
The change in net seemed to galvanize the Wild somewhat. The fourth line started to chip away when Marcus Foligno's shot trickled past Cam Talbot and over the goal line at 10:38.
But it was a struggle for the Wild to sustain pressure in the Oilers zone.
"We've got to find a way to score goals and score them earlier so the games don't get like this," defenseman Ryan Suter said.
After a scoreless second period, Zack Kassian's long-range shot eluded Stalock 1:51 into the third, dropping the Wild back into a three-goal hole.
Nino Niederreiter's redirect off a Zach Parise centering attempt made it 4-2, but the Wild couldn't parlay that momentum into more production. Instead, the Oilers resumed control when McDavid set up Draisaitl again for a rising shot at 10:34 before Alex Chiasson sent the puck flying by Stalock's glove at 13:48.
Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse tacked on a seventh goal with 2:51 to go.
Talbot posted 31 saves.
"I'm concerned about every aspect of our game," Boudreau said.
"We've got to right the ship and go from there. Next game, we've got to be ready and play the right way."