Jared Spurgeon thought he had his first NHL goal a month ago, but that lasted, oh, 10 minutes until the off-ice officials studied the film with a microscope.
But nobody will be taking the rookie defenseman's first NHL goal away this time.
The Edmonton native's first career goal came Tuesday night. Not only did it stick a knife in his hometown Oilers during a 4-1 Wild victory, the memorable tally helped Minnesota jump up to fifth in the Western Conference.
"It's sort of cool that everyone back home will get to see this one, so that's something to remember for sure," said Spurgeon, who grew up wearing Oilers jerseys that have "moved to the back of the closet now."
Thanks to three third-period goals after a so-so first two periods, the Wild knocked off Edmonton for the 15th consecutive time on home ice. The game included a magnificent spin-o-rama breakaway goal by Pierre-Marc Bouchard, the second time the shifty Wild playmaker caused Nikolai Khabibulin to bite on the move.
Bouchard, who had three points, had a quarter of the ice sheet to decide on his move after Tom Gilbert fell and Ladislav Smid mindlessly left Khabibulin naked by chasing after Cal Clutterbuck.
"From the blue line, I knew I was going to do it, so I'm pretty glad it worked," said Bouchard, who beat the "Bulin Wall" with the same move in a 2006 shootout against Chicago.
"Butch's goal was something special to see in person," Spurgeon said.
Former Oiler Kyle Brodziak's third goal of the season against his old team proved to be the winner, Martin Havlat scored for a third consecutive game and Niklas Backstrom improved to 13-0 all-time at home against the Oilers with 20 saves.
It was a fairly sloppy performance by Minnesota in the first 40 minutes, and after Kurtis Foster scored against his old team to tie things up, the Wild regrouped during the second intermission.
"We knew we had another level to get to," Brodziak said.
Brodziak snapped the tie early in the third period when he took Nick Schultz's pass in the slot, cut to his backhand and roofed his 13th goal. Then, on a power play five minutes later, Spurgeon fired one through Brodziak's screen.
Brodziak, a former Oiler, skated right to the ex-Oilers fan to let him know the goal was all Spurgeon's.
"Didn't touch me. It went under my leg. Right away I knew it was his first one," Brodziak said. "It's definitely something he's going to remember for the rest of his life."
It continued the dream season for the 5-8, 21-year-old Spurgeon, signed after a training camp tryout.
"Little guy, but he's got an awful lot of composure," Oilers center Shawn Horcoff said.
The Wild then hung on by killing off a 91-second 5-on-3, which drew the rousing appreciation of the crowd.
Twenty seconds after it ended, Clutterbuck hammered Gilbert. So upset, Smid chased Clutterbuck, which allowed Bouchard to skate in for the magical spin.
"Go ahead. You see what happens," Clutterbuck said of Smid going after him.
The Wild, which has been fighting to get into the top eight and stay there for two months, is 11-4-1 in its past 16 games and 6-1-1 in its past eight at home. It now heads west for back-to-back games against Los Angeles and Anaheim, two teams chasing -- for a change -- Minnesota.