Kevin Fiala scored twice and added an assist as the Minnesota Wild scored early and often in a 7-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.
Brandon Duhaime, Joel Eriksson Ek, Connor Dewar, Matt Boldy and Mats Zuccarello also scored for Wild (31-13-3) to break two heavy losses.
Evander Kane, Tyler Benson and Zach Hyman responded for the Oilers (28-19-3), who have a five-game winning streak stalled, suffering their first defeat under new head coach Jay Woodcroft.
Edmonton once again found himself chasing an early game as Wild scored 2:49 into the opening period on their second shot, as a sloppy clean-up effort caused Duhaime to beat Oilers goalkeeper Mike Smith to the side of the glove. It was the 33rd time in 41 games Edmonton allowed the first goal of the game.
It was a poor start for Edmonton overall, as Minnesota would score two more goals in the next three-and-a-half minutes when Eriksson Ek scored his 16th goal of the season at 5:21 strength play into the game on his fourth shot, and then lead three. a goal at 6:17 minutes when Kevin Fiala scored two-on-one with his fifth shot. It was the sixth time in Smith’s last nine games that he has conceded at least two goals in the opposition’s first six shots.
Fiala scored his second goal of the game and his 16th of the season with just six minutes left to play in the opening period, catching up to Smith after allowing four goals from seven shots, with Mikko Koskinen coming on for him in goal.
Edmonton pulled one back with three and a half minutes remaining in the first half when Kane fired home from close range in a power game past Wild keeper Kaapo Kahkonen.
Minnesota restored its lead eight and a half minutes into the second half when Dewar scored after his shot hit the post and then slipped off Koskinen’s legs and into the net.
The Wild scored their sixth goal on 15 shots as Boldy beat Koskinen with six minutes to play in the second.
Benson scored his first NHL goal minutes later in a scramble in front of Wild’s goal.
Minnesota made it 7-2 when Zuccarello took the top corner on a breakaway chance five minutes into the final frame.
Hyman scored with more than a minute remaining for Edmonton.
The Wild plays the second of four Canada trip games on Tuesday in Ottawa. The Oilers kick off a five-game journey starting at Tampa Bay against Lightning on Wednesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on 20 February 2022
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