The Minnesota Wild will try to complete a sweep of their brief two-game homestand when they host the Pacific Division-leading Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night in Saint Paul, Minn.
The Wild capped a roller-coaster 72-hour span that started with a 4-0 blanking at Montreal and a closed-door, players-only meeting by rallying to defeat the Canadiens 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at home for just their second victory in eight games this season.
Zach Parise scored what proved to be the winning goal midway through the third period off a nifty cross-ice pass by Jason Zucker, who also scored a goal. Minnesota, despite giving up two second-period goals just 16 seconds apart and a go-ahead goal to Phillip Danault early in the third period, won for just the third time in its last 10 home games dating to the end of the 2018-19 season.
"We need to be a good team here," Parise said. "We didn't give the fans a lot to cheer about last year. I think if we want to be a good team this year, we have got to play better in our own rink."
Minnesota finished just 16-18-7 at home last season.
"We need to remember this feeling," said Zucker, who called out his team and head coach Bruce Boudreau after the meeting before later publicly apologizing to Boudreau for his comment. "This feels great. It's awesome to have a win, especially at home. And now come back Tuesday and playing another high-powered offense, we've got to remember this feeling and make sure we want to get it back."
"It is a good group," Boudreau said, when asked about the response from his team following the meeting. "I always said it is a group that cares. These guys care. It would be great if we could put a little string (of victories) together."
To do that, the Wild will have to defeat an Edmonton team that started the season with five straight victories and has lost just once in regulation in nine games.
The Oilers come in off a 1-0 shootout loss at the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night. Goaltender Mike Smith finished with 23 saves in regulation and overtime but gave up goals to Kyle Connor and Patrik mLaine in the shootout. Connor Hellebuyck finished with 28 saves for the Jets.
"It was kind of a murky game," Edmonton coach Dave Tippett said. "Both teams had some chances and the goaltenders played well. We came in here wanting to play a hard road game and not give up any, and it would have been nice to get the one (goal) we needed to push us ahead. We just couldn't get the extra point."
"Last night was a hard game," Smith said after the team's optional skate on Monday morning. "It was kind of a playoff-like atmosphere. There wasn't a lot of room out there. You have to give credit to Winnipeg, too. They did a good job to clog things up and not give us a lot of really good looks. We had some chances, but they didn't go in for us. But I thought we did a lot of really good things and played a real tight game and got a big point. You've got to look at the positives in a game like that."