Preview: Oilers at Wild
The Edmonton Oilers could be without one of their top young forwards Sunday, when they continue their nine-game road trip against the Northwest Divison-rival Minnesota Wild. Edmonton fell to 1-1-1 on its trek with a 4-2 loss to the Blues in St. Louis on Friday despite owning a two-goal lead after one period. The Oilers went up 2-0 on tallies by defenseman Ryan Whitney and Taylor Hall, who exited the contest in the second session with a leg injury and may miss Sunday's showdown with Minnesota.
Should he play, the 21-year-old former first-overall draft pick could be a target for the Wild, who lost Cal Clutterbuck to a thigh contusion on a hit by Hall late in Minnesota's 3-1 victory at Edmonton on Feb. 21. Hall received a kneeing major on the play and was handed a two-game suspension by the league afterward. Clutterbuck has yet to return for the Wild, who are coming off a 3-2 road loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Rogers Sportsnet (Edmonton), FSN North, FSN Wisconsin (Minnesota)
ABOUT THE OILERS (8-8-4): Hall appeared to injure himself when he crashed into the end boards midway through the second period on Friday. Coach Ralph Krueger said he may miss a few days as a result. Hall and Whitney scored 23 seconds apart late in the first period on Friday. Edmonton then yielded four unanswered goals while being outshot 22-10 over the final 40 minutes. "We just started turning the puck over," Whitney said. "I think we get comfortable. I don't know really what it is."
ABOUT THE WILD (10-8-2): Eight of Minnesota's last 10 games have been decided by one goal. The Wild are 5-2-1 in those contests, including a 3-0-1 mark at home. They have had considerably better results at Xcel Energy Center than away from it this season, going 7-2-1 in their own building while posting a 3-6-1 record on the road. The Wild have won 11 of their last 13 overall meetings with Edmonton and 18 of 19 in Minnesota. Niklas Backstrom has been a major reason for the Wild's dominance, as he has won all 16 home meetings with the Oilers and is 23-3-1 with four shutouts and a 1.78 goals-against average in 29 career games against Edmonton.
1. Edmonton's Justin Schultz leads all rookie defensemen in goals (five) and points (13).
2. The home team has captured 26 of the last 35 games in the all-time series, while Edmonton has won only five of its last 26 visits to Minnesota.
3. Oilers Ds Corey Potter (head) and Mark Fistric (elbow) sat out Friday's game and are questionable for Sunday.
PREDICTION: Wild 3, Oilers 2
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