Spurgeon records hat trick to lead Wild to 5-3 victory over Oilers

Wild 5 Oilers 3

EDMONTON — Jared Spurgeon scored three goals as the Minnesota Wild continued their attempt to get back into a playoff position with a 5-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

Kevin Fiala and Carson Soucy also scored for the Wild (29-24-7), who have won two straight.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a pair of goals and an assist and Leon Draisaitl also scored for the Oilers (32-22-7), who have lost two games in a row.

It only took 50 seconds for the Oilers to strike first. Kailer Yamamoto dug the puck off the sideboards and found Nugent-Hopkins, who sent a low wrist shot past Wild goalie Alex Stalock.

The Wild responded eight-and-a-half minutes into the opening period as Fiala picked up a rebound off a face-off and made a nice move to power a backhand shot past Oilers starter Mikko Koskinen for his seventh goal in his last nine games.

Edmonton regained the lead with seven minutes left in the first on a three-on-two. Yamamoto dropped the puck back to a trailing Nugent-Hopkins, and he picked the top corner for his second of the game and 17th of the season.

Minnesota tied it back up six minutes into the second period as Soucy buried a high shot through traffic for his seventh.

The Oilers got a gift goal a couple minutes later as a blind backhand centring attempt by Draisaitl hit the back of the skate of defender Jordan Greenway and bizarrely caromed into the Wild net.

The Wild made it 3-3 with seven minutes remaining in the middle frame when Spurgeon wired a slap shot off the post and in.

Minnesota took its first lead midway through the third as a Spurgeon backhand tipped in off Oiler defender Adam Larsson’s stick.

Spurgeon earned the natural hat trick late in the game, scoring his 10th goal into an empty net.

Both teams return to action on Sunday. The Wild host the St. Louis Blues and the Oilers start a three-game road trip in Los Angeles against the Kings.

Notes: Oilers captain Connor McDavid practised on Friday and looks like he will return from a quad injury Sunday after missing the last six games. Edmonton was also without Joakim Nygard (hand), Kris Russell (concussion), James Neal (foot) and Oscar Klefbom (shoulder). Zack Kassian also missed the game due to a suspension.

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