Jared Spurgeon's hometown hat trick helped the Wild beat the Oilers 5-3 Friday night in Edmonton.
Leading 4-3 with 3:49 remaining, the situation became uneasy after Spurgeon was sent to the penalty box for tripping. But two minutes later, with Spurgeon bursting out of the box, he found himself all alone on a breakaway and an empty net for his first career hat trick.
"I don't score a lot, so that was nice," said Spurgeon, a native of Edmonton, via Wild.com. "When you're growing up here, you dream of being an Oiler, and obviously that didn't work out. I don't usually think of scoring a hat trick, I'm more defending first, so it was nice tonight."
Even better is that the game was part of the Wild's annual dad's trip, so fathers were waiting for their sons in the tunnel after the game.
Entering play Saturday, the Wild are only three points out of the final wild-card spot and they have games in hand on most of their competition. If the playoffs started now, Winnipeg and Calgary would be in as wild cards, just ahead of Arizona, Nashville and Minnesota.
- Winnipeg - 69 points (62 games played)
- Calgary - 68 points (62 games played)
- Arizona - 68 points (64 games played)
- Nashville - 66 points (60 games played)
- Minnesota - 65 points (60 games played)
The Wild return home to host the Central Division-leading St. Louis Blues on Sunday. Will the outcome decide which direction General Manager Bill Guerin goes before Monday's 2 p.m. NHL trade deadline?
One major development from The Athletic's Michael Russo is that captain Mikko Koivu could be traded to a Stanley Cup contender, but any Koivu action can't begin until he approves it.
"If he is willing to lift his no-move clause, Koivu will contact Guerin within the next 48 hours," Russo wrote.
Russo adds that Guerin is "juggling" different trade scenarios, including scenarios that feature "defensemen Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba and even leading goal scorer Zach Parise."