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Backstrom, Wild aim to continue dominance of Oilers

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

the season.

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.


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