Kyle Brodziak is not a top six forward or elite scorer for the Wild, but the third line center tied the game in the second period and won the game in the sixth round of the shootout.
Brodziak tied the game at the 14:51 mark on the power play by following his own shot to the net. The puck bounced off his arm after Nikolai Khabibulin tried to poke the puck away from the net.
Devin Setoguchi started the Wild rally by redirecting a pass from Mikko Koivu at the 11:31 mark of the second period. With the assist, Koivu has now recorded at least one point in seven straight games (three goals and seven assists). Dany Heatley recorded the second assist on the goal.
The win gives the Wild its best month with 11 wins, besting its 10-win December of 2009 and March of 2007, and the most points in the NHL with 33. It is one point ahead of the idle Pittsburgh Penguins and two ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Niklas Backstrom improved to 21-2-1 in his career against the Oilers by stopping 28 shots and three shootout attempts.
The Oilers (12-10-3) got on the board first with a wide open, backdoor pass from former Wild defenseman Andy Sutton to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The Wild defense got caught looking at and chasing the puck on the strong side, leaving the league’s top rookie all alone.
Jordan Eberle gave the Oilers a 2-0 lead with a backhand on the backdoor early in the second period on the power play.
The Wild played two periods without Cal Clutterbuck after Oiler defenseman Ryan Whitney stuck his leg out to go knee-to-knee with him while going to the net. No penalty was called.
The Wild later played some time without Darroll Powe, who was checked into an open Oiler bench door. He was able to get over the boards into the Wild bench.
Those two injuries forced the Wild to play most of the third period with three lines.
The Wild (15-7-3) scored on four of its six shootout attempts with several good moves, including a move by Koivu from the backhand to forehand that he has never done before.
No. 3 – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The Oiler forward recorded a goal and an assist.
No. 2 – Jordan Eberle. The Oiler forward recorded a goal and an assist.
No. 1 – Kyle Brodziak. The Wild forward scored the game-tying goal and the shootout winner.
Minnesota 0 2 0 – 2
Edmonton 1 1 0 – 2
First Period – 1, Edmonton, Nugent-Hopkins 11 (Sutton, Eberle), 9:58. Penalties – Staubitz, Min, major (fighting), 2:12; Hordichuk, Edm, major (fighting), 2:12; Lundin, Min (holding), 2:52; Brodziak, Min (tripping), 10:42; Bench, Edm (Too many men on the ice; served by Nugent-Hopkins), 12:30; Jones, Edm (goaltender interference), 16:18; Smid, Edm (cross checking), 17:02.
Second Period – 2, Edmonton, Eberle 9 (Nugent-Hopkins, Horcoff) 5:10 (pp). 3, Minnesota, Setoguchi 8 (Koivu, Heatley), 11:31. 4, Minnesota, Brodziak 6 (Johnson, Scandella), 14:51 (pp). Penalties – Zanon, Min (roughing), 4:31; Sutton, Edm (interference), 12:56; Johnson, Min (high sticking), 14:55.
Third Period – None. Penalties – Peckham, Edm (roughing), 4:44.
Overtime – None. Penalties – Smyth, Edm (tripping), 3:07.
Shots on goal – Minnesota 7-10-9-3 29. Edmonton 9-8-12-1 30.
Shootout – Edmonton, Eberle (goal), Hemsky (saved), Gagner (goal), Nugent-Hopkins (missed), Horcoff (goal), Smyth (saved). Minnesota, Bouchard (goal), Koivu (goal), Cullen (missed), Setoguchi (saved), Heatley (goal), Brodziak (goal).
Goalies – Minnesota, Backstrom (28-30). Edmonton, Khabibulin (27-29). A – N/A. Referees – Ghislain Hebert, Dave Jackson. Linesmen – David Brisebois, Tony Sericolo.