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Robert Nilsson's first goal with the Edmonton Oilers wasn't enough as the Minnesota Wild extended...

Robert Nilsson's first goal with the Edmonton Oilers wasn't enough as the Minnesota Wild extended the Oil's misery to nine straight losses. (Sun Media/Darryl Dyck)

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

If they counted glorious opportunities, the Edmonton Oilers might have had a chance.

They might have snapped their eight-game losing streak.

And Robert Nilsson's first goal with the club would have really meant something.

But they don't, and it didn't, as the Oilers dropped their ninth straight, 2-1 to the Minnesota Wild last night at Rexall Place.

"We had some what I thought were good, quality chances in the first period," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.

"But things were going through their goaltender and dribbling through the crease in behind him.

"We're not getting any breaks around the net. We are struggling offensively, that's well-documented. We recognize that, but at the same time, we're not getting a lot of breaks around the net."

With essentially a minor-league line-up, the Oilers didn't manufacture a ton of chances in the contest.

There were a handful of really good ones early, and Nilsson scored on the only good one in the third period.

BURIED A REBOUND

The Oilers most recent call-up buried a rebound past Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom late in the third period to make things interesting.

But considering the Oilers have only scored more than one goal once in the last nine games, a pair last night might have been asking too much.

"I thought we had some good chances, we just couldn't bury it in the back of the net," said Fernando Pisani, who has two of the Oilers six goals in the skid.

"It's just hitting someone's stick or whatever. It just seems like it's fighting to stay out of the net.

"We just have to keep trying to throw everything at the net, get bodies in front and try to get a bounce."

In the first period Wild defenceman Nick Schultz had to clear the puck off the goal line on a point shot.

Later in the frame Backstrom got enough of Joffrey Lupul's attempt from point-blank range to deflect it wide.

In the second Petr Sykora wired a drive that caught just enough of Backstrom's shoulder to bounce over the net.

At the other end, Mark Parrish opened the scoring in the first period on a tap in at the side of the net.

For a while it appeared that was all the Wild would need.

Then when Marian Gaborik scored a second into the third period it appeared to be lights out for the Oilers.

However Nilsson, who didn't look out of place and was rewarded with plenty of ice-time, made things interesting towards the end.

"I felt good out there," Nilsson said.

PLAYED LOTS

"The coach gave me a lot of chances both on the power play and five-on-five. When you get a lot of ice time it just makes you more comfortable.

"It's always nice to score a goal, but we lost the game."

Nilsson, 22, the son of former Oilers Kent Nilsson, was an emergency call-up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday.

He replaced Shawn Horcoff, who was out with the flu, bringing the number of walking wounded on the roster to 11.

Marty Reasoner, Steve Staios, Jan Hejda, Mathieu Roy, Tom Gilbert and Ales Hemsky were all out with various ailments.

Jarret Stoll, Ethan Moreau, Daniel Tjarnqvist and Petr Nedved are all on injured reserve.

"I think we're playing well considering how much inexperience we have," said Oilers winger Joffrey Lupul.

"At the same time, we want to win some hockey games.

"It's getting frustrating, we're just trying to stick with it.

"If we keep playing that same game we win some hockey games.

"We just have to keep building, try and stay positive, and we have another crack at it Saturday."


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