Prosser continues solid play in Wild's 4-1 victory over Edmonton

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 17, 2014 - 12:23 AM

The defenseman’s second career goal proved to be the game-winner against the Oilers.

 

Nate Prosser has gone from being an everyday scratch to a 17-minute-a-night defenseman on the Wild’s second pair.

The Elk River native, who has played 12 consecutive games since being scratched for three consecutive weeks, continued his solid play in place of injured Jared Spurgeon on Thursday night by sparking an offensive explosion from the Wild.

Prosser’s first goal in nearly two years was the first of three tallies in a 3-minute, 23-second span as the Wild catapulted past the Edmonton Oilers, 4-1, at Xcel Energy Center.

“It was a full out team effort and we needed it,” Prosser said. “We needed a bounceback game after [Tuesday’s loss to Ottawa].”

The victory was the Wild’s sixth in eight games and snapped a two-game home losing streak. It was the seventh time in 11 games the Wild, playing without forwards Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise, scored four or more goals.

With the Wild ahead 3-1 after Prosser and Justin Fontaine scored 2:12 apart late in the second, coach Mike Yeo walked down the runway before the start of the third period and thought, “Boy, it’s be nice to grab another goal here quickly.”

On his 22nd birthday, Jason Zucker abided by sticking the dagger into the Oilers eight seconds in. Zucker completed a beautiful give-and-go with Dany Heatley for his fourth goal in eight games and the fastest goal in Wild history to start a period.

Jason Pominville also scored a goal and assist and rookie Darcy Kuemper, making his third consecutive start, made 20 saves for his third victory and first at home.

“They’re showing some faith in me and I’m just trying to take advantage of it right now,” Kuemper said.

So is Prosser.

The 27-year-old 2010 free-agent pickup from Colorado College has assumed Spurgeon’s role alongside Marco Scandella ever since the defenseman broke his foot Jan. 2. In those seven games, Prosser is plus-7 averaging 17:19 of ice time a night.

Not bad for a guy who was scratched 13 straight games from Nov. 27-Dec. 22. Thursday, Prosser scored his first career winning goal and was a career-best plus-3.

“He is an unbelievable professional. He is an unbelievable team guy,” Yeo said of Prosser, who was on the ice for two goals against in 17 games last season. “There’s no question he’s made the absolute most of this opportunity.”

With Wild fans oh-so close to freaking out late in the second with the Oilers continually hemming the Wild into its end, Prosser and Fontaine turned a 1-1 tie into a 3-1 lead.

Ryan Jones got it started by coughing up the puck to Pominville. Pominville fed Prosser, who blasted a shot that popped out of Ben Scrivens’ glove and into the net. A few shifts later, after Matt Cooke crushed Nail Yakupov to trigger a 3-on-2, Fontaine, who grew up three hours north of Edmonton in Bonnyville, Alberta, scored off Kyle Brodziak’s rebound.

“We hear those fans, and we know that our play wasn’t up to par there for awhile in the second,” said Prosser, who said the feeling when he saw the red line go on for his first goal since Feb. 7, 2012, was “unbelievable.”

Pominville scored his 19th goal midway through the first period after hustling Mikael Granlund picked Martin Marincin’s pocket right in front of Scrivens.

Scrivens, acquired the day before from Los Angeles, came to Edmonton with a 1.97 goals-against average. That will surely skyrocket playing behind the NHL’s worst defensive team. The Oilers allow 3.52 goals per game and have allowed four or more goals 29 times.

The Oilers answered on Jordan Eberle’s snipe off a 2-on-1 early in the second, but Kuemper said, “There wasn’t really ever a doubt that this game was going to go our way.”

 

  • related content

  • Video: Wild Minute: Prosser scores first career game-winning goal

    Friday January 17, 2014

    One day after dining with Russo, Nate Prosser scored his first career winning goal to help the Wild beat...

  • BOXSCORE: Wild 4, Edmonton 1

    Thursday January 16, 2014

  • Photo gallery: Wild 4, Edmonton 1

    Thursday January 16, 2014

    The Wild took on the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday evening January 16, 2014 at Xcel Energy Center.

  • Wild notes: Parise ramps up recovery

    Friday January 17, 2014

    Zach Parise hasn’t circled a date yet when he might return from a broken foot that has kept him out...

  • Postgame: Patient Wild takes advantage of leaky Oilers

    Thursday January 16, 2014

    The Wild won for the sixth time in eight games before a three-goal outburst in less than four minutes

  • Minnesota Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner, left, clears a rebound as Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper (35) covers the net and Edmonton Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle (14) falls during the first period of an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

  • Wild fans cheered after Jason Pominville’s scored his 19th goal of the season in the first period.

  • Wild fans cheered after Jason Pominville’s scored his 19th goal of the season in the first period.

  • WILD 4, EDMONTON 1

    Up next: 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Dallas • Xcel Energy Center • FSN, 100.3-FM

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 86 FINAL
Indiana 93
Washington 81 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Golden State 113 FINAL
Toronto 89
New York 121 FINAL
Detroit 115
Orlando 88 FINAL
Atlanta 95
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Boston 106
LA Clippers 97 FINAL
Memphis 79
Brooklyn 98 FINAL
Houston 102
Miami 102 FINAL
New Orleans 104
Minnesota 89 FINAL
Chicago 96
Utah 104 FINAL
Denver 82
San Antonio 107 FINAL
Sacramento 96
Milwaukee 93 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
Oklahoma City 112 FINAL
Portland 115
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 2
Calgary 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Washington 0 FINAL
Carolina 3
Chicago 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Colorado 5 FINAL(SO)
Dallas 4
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Siena 63 FINAL
Quinnipiac 73
Harvard 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Penn 69 FINAL
Brown 75
Fairfield 65 FINAL
Canisius 72
Manhattan 75 FINAL
Iona 79
Saint Peters 67 FINAL
Marist 69
Princeton 60 FINAL
Yale 81
Ohio 58 FINAL
Akron 70
Dartmouth 84 FINAL
Columbia 71
Valparaiso 56 FINAL
Cleveland State 53
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 77 FINAL
Xavier 60
Cornell 54 FINAL
Harvard 60
Yale 49 FINAL
(14) Princeton 67
Elon 51 FINAL
Drexel 54
Northeastern 47 FINAL
James Madison 82
St Johns 60 FINAL
Butler 49
Creighton 71 FINAL
Georgetown 62
Brown 58 FINAL
Penn 75
Columbia 50 FINAL
Dartmouth 60
Canisius 54 FINAL
Siena 58
St Josephs Brooklyn 35 FINAL
NJIT 78
Western Carolina 86 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 80
Colorado 66 FINAL
Arizona 51
Southern Ill 72 FINAL
Bradley 66
Drake 59 FINAL
Wichita State 80
Indiana State 71 FINAL
Evansville 53
Illinois State 53 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 67
Northern Iowa 70 FINAL
Missouri State 72
Utah 42 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 46
Providence 62 FINAL
Villanova 71

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close