Roloson saves Oilers
Hard-luck Moreau takes stick to the eye
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Dwayne Roloson made 43 saves and bailed his teammates out after a number of defensive mistakes in a 3-2 home victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.
Tom Gilbert's goal late at 15:22 of the second period put Edmonton up to stay, after Ales Hemsky and Zack Stortini scored earlier. After the Oilers fell behind 2-1, rookie Liam Reddox engineered both goals to get Edmonton on top.
But Roloson was the story, keeping the Wild off the scoresheet in the third period despite an 18-3 advantage in shots for Minnesota. His outstanding effort helped put Edmonton (31-26-5) into a tie with Anaheim for seventh in the Western Conference.
Roloson was more than kind to his teammates after the game.
"The quality chances aren't as great as the shots — our guys do a great job defensively of keeping them to the outside and giving me the opportunity to see pucks and … control rebounds," he told Hockey Night in Canada.
The win was tempered by the fact Edmonton captain Ethan Moreau left the ice late in the third with blood streaming near his left eye after getting clipped by a stick.
"He's gone to the hospital and [it] looks pretty serious but he went under his own steam," said coach Craig MacTavish.
"The stick looks like it went right … you could see the gash right on the socket, and according to the doctors, where it had raked across the eye."
Moreau has played 61 of 63 games this season after playing just 32 over the previous two seasons due to shoulder, ankle and leg injuries.
Andrew Brunette and Antti Miettinen scored power-play goals for Minnesota (30-26-5), while Josh Harding stopped 27 shots in net.
The Wild opened the scoring in the first when Brunette took a rebound from a shot that went off the post and put it behind Roloson at the mark.
Hemsky countered over six minutes later when he found himself alone in the slot, took Shawn Horcoff's pass and fired a wristshot past Harding.
Edmonton defenceman Denis Grebeshkov gave his team a boost when he hammered Brunette into the boards with a hit.
Oilers forward Kyle Brodziak hit the post from a sharp angle, while Bergeron had multiple shots on power play but couldn't beat Roloson.
Minnesota scored with 35 seconds left in the period after Edmonton players got mixed up in the neutral zone. That allowed Miettinen to finish a three-way passing play started by Stéphane Veilleux and Peter Olvecky.
Just before the buzzer Edmonton's Sam Gagner nearly beat Harding on the short side but the Oilers were down a goal heading into the first intermission.
Edmonton fizzled on an early power play in the second but a few minutes later Reddox gained control of the puck in the corner and fed Stortini at the left circle at the 5:03 mark.
Roloson made sure the Wild didn't immediately reply with a big save on Marek Zidlicky.
The Oilers began buzzing in Minnesota's end late in the period and were rewarded when Reddox dropped a cross-ice to Gilbert, who fired a shot over Harding's glove for Edmonton's first lead of the game.
Edmonton came out lethargically to open the third and Minnesota nearly took advantage almost immediately, with Eric Belanger's shot going over Roloson's shoulder before Ladislav Smid cleared the puck from the crease.
Roloson made big glove saves within the same sequence midway through the period on Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Cal Clutterbuck.
"A lot of that is just reaction, being able to get a good visual on the puck and being able to keep your eyes on it all the way through," Roloson said.
Horcoff coughed up the puck in his own end, and Veilleux blasted a shot off the right post.
Gagner had Edmonton's only decent chance of the third, trying a backhand shot on Harding.
Wild forward Dan Fritsche took the puck away from Grebeshkov's skates with about four minutes left but Roloson again stood firm.
Edmonton finished 0-for-2 on the power play in the game, but have taken five of a possible eight points in the season series with Minnesota.
The Oilers began a four-game road trip Tuesday in Nashville. The Predators ended Saturday just one point behind of Edmonton.