Wild rallies for a point, but Oilers take two

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 29, 2007 - 12:36 AM

Ales Hemsky's shootout goal slipped between Josh Harding's legs, giving Edmonton a victory after the Wild came back from a 2-0 deficit.

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - Brian Rolston did say he was tired of the Wild's typical low-scoring contests.

Wednesday morning, the Wild's leading scorer joked, "I keep seeing all these 6-5 games, and I'm like, 'Is that some other league?' "

Well, the Wild has discovered that league, and it should consider going back to the low-scoring affairs.

Following a 5-3 loss Wednesday in Calgary, the Wild dropped a shootout decision to the Oilers 24 hours later, 5-4.

"They won't say we're a defensive team, not anymore," coach Jacques Lemaire said.

Edmonton's Ales Hemsky might not have officially scored a hat trick, but his third goal, which came in the shootout, was the decider. While dipsy-doodling, Hemsky lost the puck, but it still slid between Wild goalie Josh Harding's legs.

"He definitely didn't do it on purpose. That's a brutal goal," said Harding, upset with himself.

But one night after blowing a 3-0 lead to lose in Calgary, the Wild rebounded to at least get a point by overcoming a pair of two-goal deficits and a third-period one-goal deficit.

While in the end, the baby-faced, struggling Oilers ended a six-game losing streak to the Wild, the Wild was happy with the point.

"We could have easily tucked our tail between our legs tonight, but we didn't," Rolston said. "We battled back."

The Wild got goals from 19-year-old James Sheppard, his first in the NHL, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Rolston and Mark Parrish. Shawn Horcoff scored twice for the Oilers and had two assists, while Raffi Torres had three assists.

With the Wild trailing 3-2 after two, Rolston tied the score 2 minutes, 16 seconds into the third with his team-leading fifth goal.

But Hemsky answered five minutes later with a spectacular one. After Dustin Penner picked off Kurtis Foster's outlet pass, Horcoff fed Hemsky, who toe-dragged the puck around defenseman Kim Johnsson for a 4-3 Oilers lead.

"Fifty percent of the goals Ales scores are highlight-reel," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said.

But less than two minutes later, Parrish answered after Matt Foy forced a turnover in the neutral zone.

In overtime, Dwayne Roloson stretched to rob Rolston, then Marian Gaborik, with one goal on the season, hit the post with a backhand.

For the first time in six road games, the Wild failed to score first. Horcoff and Hemsky scored in the first 10:42.

But the Wild put together a strong second period to pull within 3-2.

Sheppard cut the deficit to 2-1 after Branko Radivojevic just missed burying Martin Skoula's rebound. But Roloson was a rebound machine Thursday, and this one came right back to Sheppard for his first NHL goal.

Trainer Tony DaCosta held Sheppard's milestone puck, but Sheppard didn't know which teammate scooped it from the net. "I was still all dazed and confused, and it was just good to see the puck in the net," Sheppard said.

But 21 seconds later, Derek Boogaard, at the end of a rare shift, was nailed with an imaginary roughing minor, and Horcoff made it 3-1. But the Wild kept pressuring and eventually cut it to 3-2 on Bouchard's first goal since Oct. 6.

"It was a tough game to digest [in Calgary], and we were not sharp at the start today," Lemaire said. "It took a little time before the legs got under the boys, and then we started to play much better. Coming back, for us, it's a great point."

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