EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Jared Spurgeon scored three goals as the Minnesota Wild continued their attempt to get back into a playoff position with a 5-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.
Kevin Fiala and Carson Soucy also scored for the Wild, who have won two straight.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a pair of goals and an assist and Leon Draisaitl also scored for the Oilers, who have lost two in a row.
Spurgeon gave Minnesota its first lead at 4-3 midway through the third period when his backhand tipped in off defender Adam Larsson’s stick. Spurgeon earned the natural hat trick late in the game, scoring his 10th goal into an empty net.
His first goal came with 9:05 remaining in the second period and made it 3-3. Spurgeon wired a slap shot off the post and in.
“We know that no games are going to be easy this time of year,” Wild veteran Ryan Suter said. “They got up early, so we didn’t have a choice. We stuck with it and (goalie Alex Stalock) played solid and we scored goals and we won.”
It took 50 seconds for the Oilers to strike first. Kailer Yamamoto dug the puck off the sideboards and found Nugent-Hopkins, who sent a low wrist shot past Stalock.
The Wild responded 8 1/2 minutes into the opening period as Fiala picked up a rebound off a face-off and made a nice move to power a backhand shot past Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen for his seventh goal in his last nine games.
Edmonton regained the lead with just under seven minutes left in the first on a 3-on-2. Yamamoto dropped the puck back to a trailing Nugent-Hopkins, and he picked the top corner for his second of the game and 17th of the season.
Minnesota tied it back up 5:48 into the second period as Soucy buried a high shot through traffic for his seventh.
“We have to find a way to win a game like that,” Draisaitl said. “It’s not like they did anything crazy. They played a solid game, but we just shot ourselves in the foot by giving up preventable goals. That’s pretty much the story of the game.”
The Oilers got a gift goal to go ahead 3-2 when a blind backhand centering attempt by Draisaitl hit the back of the skate of defender Jordan Greenway and caromed into the Wild net.
“I think the guys were very committed,” Wild interim coach Dean Evason said. “Draisaitl’s line was just eating us up. I mean eating us up. We really committed to playing better defense.
“We were getting opportunities so we were able to reinforce that between periods, that we’re getting our chances, guys, but let’s tighten up in all areas.”
NOTES: Oilers captain Connor McDavid practiced on Friday and looks like he will return from a quad injury Sunday after missing the last six games. Edmonton was also without Joakim Nygard (hand), Kris Russell (concussion), James Neal (foot) and Oscar Klefbom (shoulder). Zack Kassian missed the game due to a suspension.
Wild: Home against St. Louis on Sunday night.
Oilers: At Los Angeles on Sunday night.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports