Wild Schedule 2011: Minnesota Loses To Canucks In Overtime

The Minnesota Wild aren't off to a great start for their 2011-2012 campaign, but just into the second full week of NHL hockey, they've got time to work on things and get some of those new pieces working. For the best coverage of the Minnesota Wild anywhere, be sure to check out Hockey Wilderness.

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Wild Lose 3-2 To Canucks In Overtime Via Power Play Goal

The Minnesota Wild couldn't make post-regulation heroics happen two games in a row, as they've just followed up their shootout win over the Oilers with an overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Sami Salo had the overtime goal on the power play, beating goalie Niklas Backstrom with a big slapshot at 4:39 into the overtime period. Dany Heatley was the player who committed the penalty, slashing Ryan Kesler's stick in tow pieces.

This comes just after Heatley's heroics against the Oilers, where he scored with just 1.2 seconds remaining in regulation to send the team into overtime, and then into the shootout, where they would eventually get the win.

Minnesota had gotten off to a good start, forcing the Canucks into many errors, including three penalties within a span of five minutes. This led to Devin Setoguchi putting the Wild up 1-0 at 8:57 in the opening frame, sinking a backhand past Cory Schneider with the help of Heatley.

Vacouver would go on to tie it for the first time with a power-play in the second period, courtesy of Kesler off of a Daniel Sedin deflection. Minnesota would take the lead with a one-timer from Kyle Brodziak just under two minutes later, and the Canucks would send it into overtime with a Jannik Hansen redirection at the start of the third period.

It's the eighth-straight game the Wild have lost to the Canucks, and it continues their consistent trend of inconsistency. There's still a lot of moving parts that need to be figured out with new bodies like Setoguchi and Heatley (who are playing very well individually), but they need to start putting down a string of victories sooner rather than later. They next play the Anaheim Ducks at home on Thursday, Oct. 27.

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Wild Win ... Wild Game Over Oilers In Shootout

Well, it wasn't pretty and it certainly isn't the way that the Minnesota Wild want to make a living in the NHL, but they picked up a win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, and that's all that matters. Edmonton was set for a 1-0 shutout win when offseason trade acquisition Dany Heatley beat Nikolai Khabibulin with just 1.2 seconds left in the third period. The goal forced overtime and after that went scoreless, Matt Cullen was able to win the shootout for the Wild with the only goal.

The Oilers had the lead from the beginning of the game, at 16:06 of the first period, Greg Zanon gave up the puck to Ryan Smyth, who sunk it for the 1-0 lead that would only wilt away with less than two seconds to go in regulation. The Oilers gave up the lead with Niklas Backstrom on the bench in a must-score, empty-net scenario.

Heatley, you might remember, is the player who turned down a trade to Edmonton just two seasons ago, so the loss had to hurt even more for the hometown fans at Rexall Place, 16,839 strong. It also hurt because the Oilers largely dominated the play in overtime, and a great effort from Backstrom was the only reason the Wild survived into the shootout. 

Up next for the Wild is a game against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

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Wild Vs. Oilers Preview: Team Needs Power Play To Get Going

The Minnesota Wild are set to take on the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. One of Minnesota's only two wins came against them on Oct. 13, so they should be plenty confident going into the game. Offseason acquisition Devin Setoguchi had the game-winning goal in the fourth round of the shootout. It was the seventh straight win over the Oilers for Minnesota, who took all six during the 2010-2011 campaign.

Edmonton, on the other hand, are not very confident, but a win over Minnesota could give the young team the boost they need. The Wild failed to beat a Penguins team without its top two centers, its top defenseman and a few others players, so again ... confidence levels have to be evening out right about now.

The Oilers have had a good penalty kill this season - one of the few things to work for the team this season. On top of that, the Wild have failed on their last ten attempts with the man advantage and have only converted three power play goals in their first five games. Conversely, the Oilers have only allowed three.

They're both teams that feel they should be better than they are right now, but it's the Wild who had more preseason expectations with guys like Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley on their way in. Is this the game where it finally clicks for them? Only time will tell.

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Wild Go 0-for-5 On Power Play, Lose To Injured Penguins

The Minnesota Wild aren't off to a great start to the 2011-2012 season, and Tuesday night's loss to the Pittsburgh Penguin epitomizes that perfectly. They were up against a Penguins team that was without top centers Sidney Crosby (concussion) and Evgeni Malkin (knee), top defenseman Kris Letang (suspension), top-four defenseman Brooks Orpik and forward Tyler Kennedy. Pittsburgh would call up Brian Strait from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but he ended up going down with an upper-body injury in the second period.

In other words, the Wild should have pounced on the opportunity to beat a team without some of its premier star talent. Instead, they served as a means for the Penguins to overcome adversity and impress the rest of the league. The Penguins took the lead just 46 seconds into the game with a Chris Kunitz goal and from there, they didn't let up. 

Despite five power plays, the Wild didn't convert on any of them, and haven't done so in their last 10 tries. They're 3-for-23 overall with the man advantage, a staggering stat when you have had so much time with the advantage. It was a Penguins team lacking leadership and probably even confidence, and a strong power play is exactly what would have put the Wild ahead in that game.

They'll need to do a better job against the Houston Oilers on Thursday, a struggling unit who would be certainly more susceptible to losing steam after a power play goal, but who have only given up three of them so far through five games. They're 2-3 on the season and lost their last outing to the Calgary Flames

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Wild Schedule 2011: Three Games Ahead For Second Wild Week

For the best coverage of the Minnesota Wild anywhere, be sure to check out Hockey Wilderness.

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