Manny of the hour

ROBIN BROWNLEE, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

Some firsts you want no part of.

Being the team to allow the Minnesota Wild to win consecutive games on the road for the first time this season ranks high on that list, but that's what the Edmonton Oilers did last night in a 4-2 loss at Rexall Place.

OILERS FALL TO NINTH

That first means ninth - as in ninth place in the Western Conference - for the Oilers, who fell three points back of the Wild thanks to a third-period goal by Keith Carney, of all people, on a night they played well enough to win, but didn't.

Could've and should've didn't get it.

"Our line alone had a lot of chances," said Shawn Horcoff, who scored the Oilers first goal but should've had another. "If we were able to capitalize even one more time earlier, it would have been a different game."

Carney's second goal of the season - the 41st of his 922-game NHL career - got it done for the Wild, who finally made it two straight on the road after a 5-2 victory in Vancouver 24 hours earlier.

With two straight wins to end their last road trip and points in five straight games, the Oilers lost it as Carney's bank shot off Jan Hejda 9:56 into the third period stood up in front of 32 saves by Manny Fernandez.

"It's a game we should have won with the number of chances we had," said coach Craig MacTavish.

"Even through the first period, we should have had a couple of goals."

Horcoff put the Oilers on the board 20 seconds into the second period just after the expiration of a power play when he took a Ryan Smyth pass and sifted a dribbler five-hole on Fernandez.

Horcoff should have made it 2-0 not long after with the Oilers shorthanded, but Kurtis Foster saved the day for Fernandez by getting in front of his point-blank shot at the side of a gaping net.

TWO QUICK WILD GOALS

Could've and should've cost the Oilers as Marian Gaborik and Brian Rolston put pucks behind Dwayne Roloson 43 seconds apart.

Outplayed and outshot by a wide margin, the Wild led 2-1.

"I thought we controlled the first half of the game," said Marty Reasoner, who was stopped point-blank by Fernandez on a shorthanded breakaway at the end of the second.

"It was just a couple of mistakes that ended up in the back of our net and turned the momentum of the entire game around."

Petr Sykora put the brakes on Minnesota's surge and got the Oilers to the second intermission even when he buried a Petr Nedved feed for his 17th of the season, leaving this one on the table.

It stayed there until Carney's snapshot from the point found it's way off Hejda's skate and past Roloson before Gaborik rubbed it in with an empty-netter.

"We did a lot of good things," said Horcoff, looking for a silver lining going into Calgary tonight.

"Whenever you play back-to-back, you've got to forget about things quickly. We need the same effort against Calgary."

Around the rink ...

Ladislav Smid, back in the lineup after missing three games with a sprained left shoulder, tweaked it in a first-period collision in the crease with Roloson but returned for the second period ... Jason Smith picked up his first point in 17 games with an assist on Horcoff's goal ... Daniel Tjarnqvist (inflamed pubic bone) has been placed on the injured reserve list ... Steve Staios (flu) missed his second straight game ... Joffrey Lupul played his 200th NHL game.


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