Nate Prosser scored his second game-winning goal in as many games Saturday at the 2:42 mark of overtime to give the Minnesota Wild a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Hockey Day Minnesota at the Xcel Energy Center.
Prosser entered the season with just one career goal, but two nights after netting his first career game-winning goal, the Elk River native did it again.
“I’m on an all-time high right now,” Prosser said. “I can’t believe what just happened.”
Prosser beat Kari Lehtonen off rebound from a shot by Nino Niederreiter. Charlie Coyle and Niederreiter outworked the Stars defensemen behind the net. Niederreiter found some space in the high slot that brought the forward toward. Prosser took advantage found the back of the net.
“Nino and Coyle had a good forecheck going,” Prosser said. “They made some good plays. I saw them going to the net, so I tried sneaking backdoor. It popped out to me and I just wanted to get it in.”
The Wild (27-19-5) never trailed during the game and had two one-goal leads before getting the winner in overtime.
Erik Haula’s big night was somewhat overshadowed by Prosser’s overtime heroics. The rookie recorded his first career NHL goal to give the Wild a 1-0 lead in the first period. He blocked a shot by Erik Cole at the blue line, then chipped it past him off the boards and raced into the offensive zone on a partial breakaway.
“It is something you dream about,” Haula said about scoring his first career goal. “It was a long time coming. It was unbelievable - the reaction from the crowd, standing ovation. It kind of took me awhile to get over it and the chills to go away.”
Ryan Suter gave the Wild their second lead at the 14:09 mark of the second period, two minutes and 11 seconds after the Stars got on the board.
The Stars (21-19-8) controlled a lot of play, especially in the second period, in which it attempted 30 shots while holding the Wild to nine. At the second intermission the Stars had as many shots on goal and the Wild had attempted. That was thanks in large part to several sustained shifts in the offensive zone.
“We stuck with it tonight,” Prosser said. “I think we were competing and battling even though we were in our zone a lot of the game. I thought we really bared down, made hard plays and blocked shots when we needed to.”
The Wild return to action Tuesday against the Stars at the American Airlines Center.
No. 3 - Erik Haula. The Wild forward scored his first career goal.
No. 2 - Darcy Kuemper. The Wild goaltender stopped 33 shots.
No. 1 - Nate Prosser. The Wild defenseman scored the game-winning goal.
Dallas…………0 1 1 0 - 2
Minnesota.……1 1 0 1 - 3
First Period - 1, Minnesota, Haula, 1 (unassisted), 7:11. Penalties - Niederreiter, MIN (hooking), 13:48; Horcoff, DAL (high sticking), 15:26; Horcoff, DAL (high sticking), 15:26.
Second Period - 2, Dallas, Garbutt 10 (Fiddler, Peverley), 11:57. 3, Minnesota, Suter 6 (Mitchell, Brodin), 14:09. Penalties - Pominville, MIN (tripping), 18:50.
Third Period - 4, Dallas, Chiasson 9 (Seguin, Goligoski), 9:32 (pp). Penalties - Garbutt, DAL (roughing), :52; Mitchell, MIN (roughing), :52; Daley, DAL (hooking), 5:51; Stoner, MIN (holding), 8:49.
Overtime - 5, Minnesota, Prosser 2 (Niederreiter, Coyle), 2:42. Penalties - None.
Shots on goal - Dallas 9-13-11-2 35. Minnesota 3-6-8-2 19.
Goalies - Dallas, Lehtonen (16-19). Minnesota, Kuemper (33-35). Referees - Jean Hebert, Francois St. Laurent. Linesmen - Bryan Pancich, Mark Wheler.