Just two days ago the Minnesota Wild had no business being on the ice in a lopsided shutout loss, but Thursday was a new day and a new opponent.
Prosser blasted a slap shot off the glove of goaltender Ben Scrivens and into the net for his first career game-winning goal.
“I was just trying to get it high and over the goalie’s shoulder,” Prosser said. “It was unbelievable. (the puck) hit his glove and I didn’t if it was going to pop in or pop over the net. I saw the red light go on.”
Prosser has been in and out of the lineup and has scored just once prior in his NHL career. That last goal came on Feb. 7, 2012 - a span of 68 games.
“I knew it was awhile,” Prosser said about the goal drought. “I knew it was getting up there.”
The Wild gain some separation with one minute and three seconds remaining in the second period when Justin Fontaine re-directed a rebound off the Oilers and the post before it crossed the line. Matt Cooke started the play by laying out Nail Yakupov at the Wild’s blue line. Cooke got the puck to Fontaine to start the rush.
The Wild (26-19-5) extended their lead to four goals eight seconds into the third period when Jason Zucker finished off a 2-on-1 rush right off the opening face-off. Zucker slid a pass to Dany Heatley who returned it for the tap-in open net.
The Oilers (15-30-5) were in the game and had the Wild scrambling to try to get out of their own end for most of the middle portion of the second period. The crowd was becoming restless, but Prosser’s goal changed everything.
“They had us hemmed in there in second, but we didn’t give them a whole lot,” Prosser said. “We hear those fans. We know that our play wasn’t up to par there in the second. We weren’t executing as we should and as soon as that turned around we had a few shifts in their zone.”
Jason Pominville recorded his team-leading 19th goal of the season to get the scoring started at the 10:36 mark of the opening period. Mikael Granlund won a battle for a loose with Martin Marincin in a race in the Oilers end. After getting control of the puck, Granlund fed Pominville in the slot. Pominville was all alone and decked around Ben Scrivens for the open net.
The Wild opened the second period with all the pressure, but couldn’t capitalize and the Oilers tied the game with their real possession in the offensive zone. Jordan Eberle picked up the puck at center ice after Clayton Stoner couldn’t keep it in the Oilers zone. Eberle patiently waited as Keith Ballard slid past to walk to the slot and fire a shot over Darcy Kuemper’s glove shoulder.
The Wild return to action Saturday against the Dallas Stars as part of Fox Sports North’s Hockey Day Minnesota at the Xcel Energy Center.
No. 3 - Mikael Granlund. The Wild forward recorded and assist.
No. 2 - Jason Pominville. The Wild forward scored a goal and added an assist.
No. 1 - Nate Prosser. The Wild defenseman scored a goal.
Edmonton……0 1 0 - 1
Minnesota……1 2 1 - 4
First Period - 1, Minnesota, Pominville 19 (Granlund, Scandella), 10:36. Penalties - Belov, EDM (interference), 2:23; Cooke, MIN (goaltender interference), 4:37; Perron, EDM (holding), 5:49; Brodziak, MIN (hooking), 5:49; Jones, EDM, major (fighting), 12:14: Veilleux, MIN, major (fighting), 12:14.
Second Period - 2, Edmonton, Eberle 15 (unassisted), 2:36. 3, Minnesota, Prosser 1 (Pominville), 16:45. 4, Minnesota, Fontaine 12 (Brodziak, Cooke), 18:57. Penalties - Haula, MIN (hooking), 6:05.
Third Period - 5, Minnesota, Zucker 4 (Heatley, Coyle), :08. Penalties - Perron, EDM (holding), 1:58; Brodziak, MIN (hooking), 4:45; Marincin, EDM (tripping), 10:01; Haula, MIN (high sticking), 19:42.
Shots on goal - Edmonton 9-7-5 21. Minnesota 7-15-11 33.
Goalies - Edmonton, Scrivens (29-33). Minnesota, Kuemper (20-21). Referees - Rob Martell, Wes McCauley. Linesmen - Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich.