Minnesota (24-20-3) at Edmonton (24-20-3), 9:00 pm EST
EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) — Niklas Backstrom has never had a
problem beating the Edmonton Oilers.
Backstrom will look to continue that trend Friday, when the
Minnesota Wild visit the Oilers in a battle of Northwest
Division foes with identical records.
A third-year pro, Backstrom owns a 10-0-0 record against
Edmonton in his career. The All-Star made 20 saves during a 5-1
triumph over the Oilers in their last meeting on January 15.
The 30-year-old Backstrom, who turned aside 27 shots in
Tuesday’s 6-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, is 23-15-2
with a 2.19 goals-against average and .927 save percentage on
Backstrom will take on an Edmonton squad that is looking for
redemption after suffering the worst loss in franchise history.
The Oilers are coming off a 10-2 beatdown delivered by the
Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.
Robert Nilsson registered a goal and an assist and Erik Cole
netted a power-play tally for Edmonton, which saw its three-game
winning streak come to an end.
“It started early and kept on coming,” Oilers coach Craig
MacTavish said. “We had three periods of it. It’s
disappointing. There’s not much I can add in terms of criticism
of the team or criticism of myself. It will all be about how we
respond to this.”
“It was frustrating and embarrassing right from the beginning of
the game,” Edmonton defenseman Tom Gilbert added. “We obviously
weren’t ready to play. If you are not ready to execute, a team
like this is going to expose you in every aspect of the game.