Redeem team

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

What is it people like to say after something goes horribly wrong: "One day we'll all look back on this and laugh."

Well, it might be too soon for the Edmonton Oilers to yuck it up over Tuesday's 10-2 loss to Buffalo, but at least nobody in the hockey world is laughing at them anymore.

The joke was on the Minnesota Wild last night as they ran into the wrong team at the wrong time - a fired up Oilers squad that would stop at nothing to erase three days worth of national humiliation.

"The past couple of days have been rough walking around the city. We've taken a lot of grief,"said Andrew Cogliano, after the red-faced Oilers staved off a civic meltdown with their convincing 3-1 decision.

"But we all stayed positive and we all stuck together, especially the leaders. They really took over the past couple of days."

The win, Edmonton's sixth in the last eight games, ranks with their biggest of the season so far, given the pressure attached to this one, their dismal record against Minny and the fact that Rexall Place was ready to turn on them at any second.

It didn't get the chance, though. Steve Staios made sure of it in the first minute with a big open-ice hit on Stephane Veilleux and spirited fight with Cal Clutterbuck.

"The most perfect response out of a veteran that you can have," said head coach Craig MacTavish.

"When you talk to young kids about having savvy, that's what you mean. Step up and set the tone."

The tone very nearly lifted the roof off the rink, and when Ales Hemsky scored to make it 1-0 just four minutes later, the Oilers were on their way to making amends for Black Tuesday.

Another veteran, Ethan Moreau, made it 2-0 at 16:54. prompting Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire to send out Oiler-buster Derek Boogaard to try and reverse the tide.

Out came Steve MacIntyre, who hadn't fought since returning from a broken orbital bone. Boogaard isn't exactly the first guy you want on your dance card after a broken face, but MacIntyre was good to go and the much-anticipated heavyweight showdown ended up a draw.

"His job is to try and provide a bit of a spark and my job is to keep the momentum on our side," said MacIntyre, who was glad to finally get one out of the way. "He's one of the toughest guys in the league and I did OK, so it's definitely a monkey off my back. I wanted to get that first one and see where I was at. It was a lot of fun."

So was the rest of Edmonton's redemption. Lubomir Visnovsky made it 3-0 in the second, and while Minny made it interesting with a goal in the first minute of the third, Edmonton closed the door over the final 19 minutes, improving to 25-20-3 and moving into fifth place in the tight Western Conference.

"It was a big game for us here at home. We all know what happened last game," said Staios. "We can talk about it now because we got a win, but it hurt ... a lot.

"We have a lot of pride in here, but we did the right thing, we put it away and responded well tonight."

Dwayne Roloson bounced back nicely from his first period hook against Buffalo, stopping 29 of 30 Wild shots.

LATE HITS ...

Oilers assistant coach Bill Moores left the morning skate after experiencing dizziness. He was taken to hospital for tests and later released ... Robert Nilsson, all of 185 pounds, took a third-period boarding penalty on 257 pound Boogaard. "I was all for it," cracked MacTavish, who's seen Boogaard crush plenty of his guys. "I encouraged it and welcomed it - complimented the player on it."


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