Mark Parrish had the other goal for Minnesota (41-24-7).
Robert Nilsson scored for Edmonton (30-35-6) which has lost nine straight games and been outscored 34-7 in that stretch. The Oilers’ losing streak ties the second-worst stretch in club history and the squad has lost eight straight since dealing Ryan Smyth to the New York Islanders at the NHL trade deadline.
Minnesota opened the scoring 11:26 into the first period when Mikko Koivu hit Parrish on a long pass that went past Edmonton defenceman Matt Greene. Parrish beat Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson for his 17th goal of the season.
Minnesota seemed content to sit on its lead through a sluggish and scoreless second, with Edmonton holding a 6-3 edge in shots that left both teams with 16 shots apiece heading into the third.
But just over seven minutes into the third Pavel Demitra found Gaborik with a pass from behind the net and the Slovakian forward beat Roloson for his 24th goal of the year.
Edmonton ended Niklas Backstrom’s shutout bid with 3:57 remaining in the period as Backstrom stopped Patrick Thoresen’s shot but the rebound went to Nilsson, who scored in his first game as an Oiler.
But that’s as close as Edmonton got as Backstrom preserved the win.
Minnesota resumes its road trip Saturday in Calgary while Edmonton hosts St. Louis in the second game of a six-game homestand.
NOTES: Nilsson made his Oilers debut after being called up on an emergency basis to replace Shawn Horcoff (flu). Nilsson, the son of former Oiler and Flame star Kent Nilsson, was acquired from the New York Islanders in the Smyth deal. He had 10 points in seven games with Wilkes-Barre in the AHL after joining the Oilers organization . . . Horcoff was among 11 Oilers players out for the game . . . The Oilers likely had their eyes wide open any time Minnesota’s Derek Boogaard hit the ice. Boogaard has been responsible for injuries to Edmonton’s Marty Reasoner, Ladislav Smid and Ales Hemsky this season . . . With Thursday’s win, the Wild are .500 on the road (18-18-3) for the first time this season after starting with a woeful 4-15-1 road mark.