Early third-period goal the difference

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- One mistake was all it took for the
Minnesota Wild to lose their franchise-record unbeaten streak.

Ryan Smyth scored a short-handed goal nine seconds into the
third period, snapping a tie and lifting the Edmonton Oilers to a
2-1 victory over the Wild on Friday night.

Minnesota was unbeaten in nine games (4-0-5) and had moved five
points ahead of the Oilers in the Northwest Division as Edmonton
was mired in a 3-10-5 skid.

The Oilers rallied to tie Minnesota on Tuesday, then began a
six-game road trip with their second win in three weeks.

"We've got to battle through the things that disappoint us and
frustrate us," said Smyth, who scored his 10th goal.

The Wild began the third period on a power play, but Edmonton
won the opening faceoff and dumped the puck into Minnesota's zone.
Wild goaltender Dwayne Roloson mishandled it behind his net, and
Smyth stole the puck and beat Roloson to the front of the net
before firing a shot off the far post and in.

"I know the puck was bouncing there. I'm sure if he had it to
do again he'd play it differently," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire
said. "I think he knew that Smyth was getting close, but I don't
think he expected a tough time controlling the puck."

Roloson kept the punchless Wild in the game with 16 saves. He
has surrendered two goals or fewer in nine consecutive starts.

"Rolie bails us out of a lot of games with big saves, so a
bounce like that just happens," Minnesota captain Brad Bombardir
said. "It's just hockey, and you move on."

The Wild missed a chance to tie the game with seven minutes
remaining when Marian Gaborik hit the crossbar with a wrist shot
from 25 feet out.

"I tried to shoot high because he went down all the time,"
Gaborik said. "A couple of inches lower and it's in. But luck
wasn't on our side tonight."

Raffi Torres put Edmonton on top 1-0 late in the first period
when he beat Roloson with a backhand shot for his 10th goal.

The Wild tied it with 3:53 left in the second period on Matt
Johnson's fifth goal. Jim Dowd fired a wrist shot from the top of
the right circle that Edmonton goalie Tommy Salo stopped, but
Johnson banged home the rebound from in front.

Salo made 24 saves to earn the win.

Game notes
The Oilers were held to one shot in the second period. ...
Minnesota selected Bombardir to be the captain in January. It's the
seventh time he has earned the honor, the most in team history. ...
University of Pittsburgh wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, a Heisman
Trophy finalist and a Minneapolis native, attended the game and was
presented with a Wild jersey. ... The Oilers were playing without
captain Jason Smith, who sprained his left ankle in Tuesday's game
against the Wild. He is expected to miss two weeks. Smyth served as
interim captain. "I'm wearing (the captain's 'C') for him," Smyth
said. "He's obviously a guy who's well respected."