Kaprizov's 3-point game leads Wild to victory over Oilers
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists to extend his career-best point streak to 10 games, and Joel Eriksson Ek added a goal and assist, leading the Minnesota Wild to a 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.
Kaprizov has a goal in four straight games after scoring his 14th of the season. He also has nine straight games with an assist, and eight goals and 11 assists in his last 13 games.
“When you start winning, when the team starts winning, your game comes easier, you play better, you score more,” Kaprizov said through an interpreter. “Everything starts working well when you do that. That’s kind of what’s happening right now.”
Frederick Gaudreau, Sam Steel and Mats Zuccarello also scored for Minnesota, which has won four of five. Marc-Andre Fleury made 18 saves.
“They’re still dangerous,” Fleury said of the Oilers playing a back-to-back. “They weren’t getting much shots in the first couple of periods and they still had two goals and some chances. You always have to be careful with these guys because they can always score. We defended well and played well for 60 minutes. The power play was good. The PK was good.”
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl extended goal streaks for Edmonton, which had won three in a row.
Draisaitl opened the scoring in the first period with his 16th goal, scoring for the fourth straight game. McDavid scored a goal for the third straight game.
“They were desperate tonight, more desperate than we were,” McDavid said. “I thought they played well, give them credit.”
Klim Koston scored with four seconds remaining and Jack Campbell stopped 25 shots for the Oilers.
“Our guys gave it everything they had, but we just made a few too many small errors that ended up in the back of our net,” Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said. “It was too big of a hill to overcome.”
Minnesota took two early penalties, a difficult task against Edmonton’s sixth-ranked power-play unit.
The Wild killed off the first, but Draisaitl scored from a wide angle on the second power play, shooting before Fleury could get across the crease on the cross-ice pass.
Eriksson Ek scored with the man advantage just 1:51 into the second period, tying the game at 1. Kaprizov’s initial shot was wide and bounced off the end boards right to Eriksson Ek.
McDavid had the first even-strength goal of the game for an Oilers’ lead, but the Wild scored twice before the end of the period. Gaudreau’s go-ahead goal was his fourth of the season with 6:01 left in the second.
After the early penalties, Minnesota clamped down on Edmonton’s explosive offense. The Oilers had just 10 shots through two periods and were outshot 30-21 in the game.
“We were really committed to looking after our end and certainly early we did that,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “So, we did the right things. Obviously, we got off to a tough start with the PK, with giving them two right in a row. But we were fortunate to get out of it with just one.”
POWER ON DISPLAY
The power play was important for both teams. Three of the first four goals in the game were scored with the man advantage.
Edmonton finished 1 of 3 on the power play. Minnesota, which entered the game with the league’s 13th-ranked power play, was 2 of 3.
FLEURY TO FOURTH
With his ninth save of the game, Fleury moved past Tony Esposito for the fourth-most saves in NHL history. Fleury now has 24,778 saves in his career. Up next in third place is Patrick Roy with 25,800. Martin Brodeur (28,928) and Roberto Luongo (28,409) are first and second, respectively.
Oilers: Return home against Montreal on Saturday.
Wild: Host Anaheim on Saturday.
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