Oh, how quickly things change. Two wins in two days have dramatically the Wild's postseason picture. Minnesota has gone from a team on the bubble to one that, with a little puck luck, could skate out of the regular season with home-ice advantage in the playoffs. The Wild dismantled the lowly Edmonton Oilers 5-3 Tuesday night, April 16, building leads of 3-1 in the second period and 5-1 in the third before an Edmonton flurry at the end. The victory gave the Wild 51 points, good for fifth or sixth place in the Western Conference, depending on the outcome of San Jose's late game against Columbus. "For sure it builds your confidence," goalie Niklas Backstrom said, "not just to get the points, but the way we've played." It was the third straight game in which the Wild outplayed their opponent, a good sign heading into the home stretch. They have five points from those three games, the only non-win a shootout loss to Columbus at home. "This is the way you want to go," Kyle Brodziak said. "The teams that do well in the playoffs are climbing at the end -- the teams that don't are falling." Brodziak netted two goals against his former team, and fellow Oiler expat Tom Gilbert was a plus-3.
Wild beat Oilers 5-3, dramatically improve playoff position
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Apr 17