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Wild botches key game

Oilers Taylor Hall, top, and Nail Yakupov enjoy a goal over the Wild’s Josh Harding.

Associated Press

Oilers Taylor Hall, top, and Nail Yakupov enjoy a goal over the Wild’s Josh Harding.

at Sabres 0 1 0 0 2
Islanders 0 0 1 0 1
Sabres win shootout 1-0
ST. PAUL, Minn. — All the Wild had to do Friday was beat the Oilers at home to clinch its first playoff appearance in five seasons.

It got spanked 6-1.

"I don't think anyone knows what happened," Minnesota forward Kyle Brodziak said. "We're fighting for our lives now."

Minnesota enters today's season finale at Colorado tied with Columbus for eighth in the Western Conference with 53 points, one behind Detroit. Minnesota owns the tiebreaker with Columbus, which also ends its regular season today, and can secure a postseason spot with a win.

If Detroit gets a point in its season finale tonight against Dallas, and Columbus wins and Minnesota loses, the Wild would be eliminated.

"We have a Game 7 (today)," Wild forward Matt Cullen said. "This is where you show what you're made of. This is what careers are made on."

Corey Potter, who scored 27 seconds into the game, and Nail Yakupov both had two goals for the Oilers, who won for the second time in 11 games and will miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season.

The Wild, on a 1-4 slide, outshot the Oilers 39-17. Goalie Niklas Backstrom was pulled after allowing three goals on five shots and replaced by Josh Harding, who hadn't played since Feb. 7 after he developed complications from his multiple sclerosis medication.

Game highlights: The Islanders moved from eighth to sixth in the East by getting a point from a 2-1 shootout loss to the host Sabres in the regular-season finale for both teams. New York, which lost its second straight, leads the Rangers and Senators by one point, 55-54, but the Rangers have one game left and Ottawa two.

Around the league: Penguins star Sidney Crosby practiced for the first time since having his jaw broken by a shot March 30. He wore a protective face mask. His status for next week's playoff opener is uncertain. … Despite a lockout that kept the season from opening until January and generated bad feelings among fans, teams are filling their buildings to 97.4 percent of capacity and TV ratings are up considerably, commissioner Gary Bettman told an Associated Press Sports Editors meeting in New York. … Tim Leiweke, brother of Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke, was hired as president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Leafs. Tim, 56, was president and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Kings, for 17 years before leaving in March.

Oilers 3 3 0 6
at Wild 0 0 1 1

First Period1, Edmonton, Potter 2 (Smyth, Eberle), :27. 2, Edmonton, Hall 16, 8:02. 3, Edmonton, Potter 3 (Eberle, Gagner), 18:38. PenaltiesBrown, Edm, major (fighting), :02; Konopka, Min, major (fighting), :02; Smid, Edm (holding), 8:18.

Second Period4, Edmonton, Eberle 14 (Smyth, Gagner), 4:09. 5, Edmonton, Yakupov 13 (Hall), 10:13. 6, Edmonton, Yakupov 14 (Hall, Smid), 13:55. PenaltiesPetry, Edm (holding), 16:38.

Third Period7, Minnesota, Koivu 11 (Coyle), 9:42. PenaltiesRupp, Min, served by Bouchard, minor-misconduct (roughing), 14:11; Konopka, Min, served by Setoguchi, minor-misconduct (roughing), 14:11. Shots on GoalEdmonton 5-9-3—17. Minnesota 15-13-11—39. Power-play opportunitiesEdmonton 0 of 2; Minnesota 0 of 2. GoaliesEdmonton, Khabibulin 4-6-1 (39 shots-38 saves). Minnesota, Backstrom 23-15-3 (5-2), Harding (18:38 first, 12-9).

at Sabres 0 1 0 0 2
Islanders 0 0 1 0 1
Sabres win shootout 1-0

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesWeber, Buf (interference), 8:41; Strait, NYI (interference), 13:02; Boulton, NYI, misconduct, 20:00; Scott, Buf, misconduct, 20:00.

Second Period1, Buffalo, Flynn 6 (Vanek), 3:29. PenaltiesStrait, NYI (delay game), 3:48; Stafford, Buf (roughing), 4:42; Ennis, Buf (roughing), 4:42; Carkner, NYI, served by Aucoin, minor-major (elbow, fighting), 12:03; Scott, Buf, major (fighting), 12:03.

Third Period2, NYI, Aucoin 6 (MacDonald), 7:26. PenaltiesNone.

OT None. PenaltiesPorter, Buf (hooking), 1:25. ShootoutNYI 0 (Nielsen NG, Boyes NG, Tavares NG), Buffalo 1 (Vanek G, Stafford NG, Hecht NG). Shots on GoalNYI 9-9-8-5—31. Buffalo 10-5-6-1—22. Power-play opportunitiesNYI 0 of 4; Buffalo 0 of 3. GoaliesNYI, Nabokov 23-11-7 (22 shots-21 saves). Buffalo, Miller 17-17-5 (31-30).

at Blackhawks 2 0 1 3
Flames 0 1 0 1

First Period1, Chi, Kane 23 (Sharp, Keith), 9:34. 2, Chi, Toews 23 (Saad, Hossa), 13:02. PenaltiesNone.

Second Period3, Calgary, Butler 1 (Stempniak, Street), 10:43 (sh). PenaltiesJones, Cal (hook), 9:55.

Third Period4, Chi, Kruger 4, 7:06. PenaltiesGiordano, Cal (hook), 13:52. Shots on GoalCalgary 5-13-8—26. Chi 13-12-13—38. Power-play opportunitiesCalgary 0 of 0; Chi 0 of 2. GoaliesCalgary, MacDonald 8-9-1 (38 shots-35 saves). Chi, Crawford 19-5-5 (26-25).

Wild botches key game 04/26/13 [Last modified: Saturday, April 27, 2013 12:26am]
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