EDMONTON - Jared Spurgeon scored a pair of goals, including the power play winner with 1:46 remaining in the third period, as the Minnesota Wild started the pre-season off with a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
Spurgeon's goal came with Taylor Hall in the penalty box for inadvertently high-sticking Justin Falk while swinging at a loose puck.
Jarod Palmer and Pierre-Marc Bouchard also scored for the Wild.
Anton Lander, Magnus Paajarvi and Antti Tyrvainen replied for the Oilers, who played a split squad game, with another team playing at the same time against Chicago in Saskatoon.
The Wild started the scoring just two minutes into the game as a weak clearing attempt by Taylor Hall led to a hopeful shot from the point by Spurgeon which deflected off the ankle of Edmonton's Martin Marancin and past goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.
Minnesota went up 2-0 on a power play with five minutes to go in the opening period. Khabibulin made a stop on the initial shot by Kyle Brodziak, but Palmer lifted the rebound into the net.
The Wild took a three-goal lead with a minute and a half to play in the first as Khabibulin waved at a top corner shot on a two-on-one by Bouchard.
Edmonton finally got on the board five minutes into the second just as a Minnesota penalty had expired. Lander corralled a rebound on a knuckleball point shot from Marincin and slipped the puck into the empty net behind Wild starter Josh Harding.
The teams both changed goalies at the midway point of the game. Tyler Bunz came on for Khabibulin, who made seven saves on 10 shots, and Matt Hackett replaced Harding, who stopped 14 of 15.
Edmonton started to pick up its game as the second wore on, cutting the lead to 3-2 with six minutes left as a Lander shot snuck under Hackett's arm and was deposited into the net by Paajarvi.
The Oilers tied the game two minutes later as a Taylor Fedun shot landed on the doorstep where Tyrvainen was able to send a nifty backhand past Hackett.
Early in the third, Minnesota’s Darroll Powe was given a five-minute boarding major for plowing Fedun head-first into the boards but the Oilers were unable to capitalize, allowing the Wild to score the late power play winner.
Both teams continue the pre-season on Thursday as the Oilers play host to Vancouver and the Wild travel to St. Louis.
Notes: Tuesday marked the first exhibition action for both teams. The Oilers were also playing a split-squad game, with the likes of Ryan Smyth, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle facing off against Chicago at the same time in Saskatoon… Edmonton head coach Tom Renney accompanied the other squad to Saskatchewan, leaving Ralph Krueger and Steve Smith to guide the team in Edmonton… Edmonton star sophomore Taylor Hall last played on March 3 after a scrap with Columbus’ Derek Dorsett… Goalie Josh Harding got his first start in net for the Wild since ripping up his knee almost a year ago. Former Blackhawks and Canadiens goalie Jeff Hacket’s nephew, Matt, served as the backup… Notably absent from the Wild lineup were major off-season acquisitions Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley… Edmonton native Matt Kassian was in the lineup for the Wild, trying to land an enforcer role. Kassian was a late training camp cut by Minnesota last year… Edmonton trimmed its camp roster to 57 players on Monday, sending 10 players packing before its first exhibition game.