ST. PAUL, Minn. -- History suggested that, sooner or later, the Edmonton Oilers would give way and crumble to the Xcel Energy Center ice.
And so it was Sunday night.
After two periods of hard work and much frustration for the Wild, things went exactly like they always go when Edmonton comes to town. Mikko Koivu scored nine seconds into the third period, breaking a 1-1 tie. Charlie Coyle's first goal at home 6 minutes later provided the winning margin in the Wild's 4-2 victory over an Oilers team that spent huge chunks of the game unable to mount any offense.
Jared Spurgeon and Dany Heatley also scored for the Wild, which has won 19 of its past 20 home games vs. Edmonton. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom stopped 19 of 21 shots to improve to 6-1-1 in his past eight starts and an incredible 17-0 at home vs. Edmonton in his career.
The victory moved the Wild (11-8-2) into sixth place in the Western Conference, and it is two points behind Northwest Division leader Vancouver.
And this one was even more one-sided than the score showed.
The Wild put a season-high 43 shots on Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk. At the other end, Edmonton went 23 minutes, 35 seconds without a shot on Backstrom, a stretch that began late in the first period, went through the second and into the third.
Coyle had his first career goal at home, a backhander in the third period that pushed the Wild's lead to 3-1. He also had his first career multipoint game. Spurgeon, who scored the game's first goal, had his first multipoint game of the season. The Wild improved to 8-2-1 at home this season and 7-3-1 overall in its past 11 games.
The Wild came out fast -- holding Edmonton without a shot for the first 71/2 minutes -- and it led to a 1-0 lead just 2:37 into the game.
Devin Setoguchi's hustle got the puck to Spurgeon, whose hard wrist shot from inside the blue line beat Dubnyk high on the stick side. The Oilers tied it with a little more than two minutes left in the period when Magnus Paajarvi got the puck being the Wild net. He skated out to goalie Backstrom's left and hammered the puck home at 17:58 to tie the score 1-1.
Despite the Wild controlling the play in the second period, that's the way it stayed. The Wild outshot the Oilers 18-0 in the second period. It was the third time a Wild opponent had gone without a shot in a period, the first time since March 31, 2009, against Vancouver.
But that changed quickly in the third period -- only nine seconds in, actually, just moments after the opening faceoff. When Koivu beat Dubnyk from between the circles, he tied a team record for fastest goal to start a period, a mark also held by Brian Rolston and Casey Wellman. Koivu won the faceoff to start the period. The puck went into the neutral zone.
Spurgeon pushed the puck forward to Coyle, who sent it into the Edmonton zone. Koivu beat both teammate Zach Parise and Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the puck, then sent a wrist shot past Dubnyk to give the Wild a 2-1 lead.
Coyle's backhand at 6:09 -- which came after he skated down the slot -- made it 3-1.
Edmonton pulled within 3-2 on a freak goal when Koivu's attempt at a pass bounced off Edmonton's Sam Gagner, then bounced off Wild defenseman Ryan Suter into the net. But the Wild made it 4-2 when Koivu fed Heatley for a power-play goal at 15:09.
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