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Updated: September 20th, 2011 10:39pm
Jared Spurgeon's two goals help Wild edge Oilers in preseason opener

Jared Spurgeon's two goals help Wild edge Oilers in preseason opener

by Judd Zulgad
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Jared Spurgeon's second goal of the game late in the third period Tuesday night gave the Minnesota Wild a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in their preseason opener at Rexall Place.

It was Mike Yeo's first game as the Wild's coach.

The Wild took a 3-0 lead in the first period only to see the Oilers rally.

Spurgeon's winning goal came on the power play with 1 minute, 46 seconds remaining after Matt Cullen won a faceoff in the Oilers zone. Spurgeon, who is from Edmonton, took the puck at the right point, moved laterally across the blue line and let go with a wrist shot from the high slot that beat goalie Tyler Bunz.

Spurgeon, a defenseman who scored four goals in 53 games last season as a rookie, also got the first goal of the game, beating Edmonton's starting goalie, Nikolai Khabibulin, at 2:03 of the first period. There was no assist on the score.

Right winger Jarod Palmer made it 2-0 at 14:49 on a power-play goal that was assisted by Kyle Brodziak and Brett Bulmer; Pierre-Marc Bouchard increased the lead to 3-0 at 18:35 when he scored off a pass from Guillaume Latendresse. Cullen also got an assist.

The Oilers began their comeback at 4:52 of the second period as Anton Lander beat the Wild's Josh Harding. Magnus Paajarvi and Antti Tyrvainen added second-period goals to tie the score.

Paajarvi and Lander also had assists in the period as the Oilers outshot the Wild, 17-5.

Harding, who missed all of last season because of a knee injury, started for the Wild and stopped 14 of 15 shots before being taken out in the second period. Teams often remove their goalies about halfway through preseason games at this point.

Harding was replaced by Matt Hackett. Khabibulin, who stopped seven of 10 shots, was lifted at the same time (30:51) and replaced by Bunz. Hackett saved 14 of 16 shots.

The Oilers, who also sent a squad of players to Saskatoon to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, outshot the Wild, 31-21, in the game.

The Wild will play at St. Louis on Thursday night before opening the home portion of their preseason schedule at 7 p.m. Friday night against Columbus at Xcel Energy Center.

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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