EDMONTON — A coaching change has paid off for the Minnesota Wild.
Mathew Dumba and Thomas Vanek each recorded a goal and an assist as the Wild ran their winning streak under interim coach John Torchetti to three games with a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
“It’s a world of difference, it feels like,” Coyle said. “All of sudden we feel good about ourselves, our confidence is growing each game and it’s a huge road trip for us.”
Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper said there is a completely different feel in his team’s dressing room since Saturday’s dismissal of Yeo.
“I think it’s a fresh start for everyone. A lot of guys had a lot of negative things going on and it’s almost like a new season in a sense,” he said.
“It’s good, we’re playing good hockey right now and we’re getting rewarded for it. It’s nice to see the smiles in everyone’s faces again and having some smiles coming to the rink again makes it a lot easier. Just the way we’re working for each other right now and cheering each other on, it’s contagious and we’re getting a lot of success.”
“It’s always frustrating when you lose,” said Oilers goalie Cam Talbot. “Everyone wants to go out there and win. When losses start to pile up there is always going to be that sense of frustration. We just have to keep working, pushing forward and focus on doing the little things right.”
Minnesota started the scoring 9:30 into the game on the power play as a big rebound came out to Pominville, who ripped a shot past Talbot.
It didn’t take Edmonton long to respond, however. The Oilers made it 1-1 just 28 seconds later when McDavid turned on the jets to take a Benoit Pouliot pass and calmly tuck it into the net past a cleanly beat Kuemper. It was McDavid’s 10th goal.
The Wild regained the lead with seven minutes left in the opening period as a Dumba pass attempt went in off the skate of defender Darnell Nurse on another power play.
The Oilers knotted it up again four minutes later when Yakupov picked off a pass and then picked the top corner on Kuemper.
Minnesota vaulted ahead once more five minutes into the second as Vanek took a feed on the doorstep and scored his 16th of the season.
The Wild made it 4-2 with four minutes left in the second when Granlund fished out a rebound in front of the net and sent it past Talbot.
Coyle scored a late empty-netter.
The Oilers next play host to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. The Wild are off until Sunday, when they return home to play Chicago.
Notes: Minnesota won the only previous meeting between the two teams this season and now has a six-game winning streak in games played in Edmonton. Missing from the Oilers lineup were Oscar Klefbom (lower body), Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Eric Gryba (knee) and Zack Kassian (flu). With Gryba out for a month, the Oilers called up Nikita Nikitin from the AHL, but he was a healthy scratch. Out for the Wild were Jonas Brodin (foot) and Marco Scandella (undisclosed).