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Hockey / Sports

Wild topples Stars

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Nate Prosser, to cap a day where hockey was celebrated in his home city of Elk River, capped Hockey Day Minnesota with an overtime winner.

One game after Prosser scored his first career winning goal, the defenseman scored with 2 minutes, 18 seconds left in overtime to lift the Wild to a 3-2 victory over the team that used to call Minnesota home, the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.

Darcy Kuemper made 33 saves in a game the Wild was outshot 35-19 to lift the Wild to its seventh win in nine games .

Former Gopher Erik Haula scored his first NHL goal and defenseman Ryan Suter added another.

The Wild plays the back end of the home-and-home Tuesday in Dallas, where it's 4-14-6 all-time. However, the Wild snapped a 16-game winless streak in Dallas with a 7-4 win there March 25, 2013.

Prosser scored on a pinch by burying Nino Niederreiter's rebound past Kari Lehtonen. It came after Charlie Coyle won a puck battle behind the net with Alex Goligoski.

The Wild plays the back end of the home-and-home Tuesday in Dallas, where it's 4-14-6 all-time. However, the Wild snapped a 16-game winless streak in Dallas with a 7-4 win there March 25, 2013.

With the Wild clinging to a 2-1 lead in the third period despite being outshot 2-to-1, Clayton Stoner took a holding penalty on Ryan Garbutt, who scored the tying goal for Dallas in the second period.

On the power play, Alex Chiasson tied the score after Suter initially denied Alex Goligoski of a sure goal after Kuemper made a nice to save to deny Tyler Seguin.

Haula, who made his NHL debut 17 games ago on Nov. 29, got the call back from Iowa after captain Mikko Koivu broke his ankle Jan. 4. He has played in a fourth-line role with Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle and Kyle Brodziak ahead of him, but as he proved at the University of Minnesota, he has got the soft hands of a scorer.

Haula led the Gophers in scoring in each of the past two years, ranks 49th on the school's all-time scoring list with 124 points in 114 games and was the first Gopher since Ryan Potulny (2003-06) to average more than a point a game in his collegiate career.

Haula scored on the Wild's first shot of the game 7 minutes, 11 seconds in Saturday when he blocked Erik Cole's shot inside the blue line and cleverly chipped the puck off the glass to catch Cole flat-footed and create a breakaway for himself.

Haula caught up with the puck, turned on his high-speed jets and beat Kari Lehtonen blocker-side for a 1-0 lead.

Later in the period, Kyle Brodziak drew a double-minor high-sticking penalty from Shawn Horcoff, but in 3:33 of power-play time, the Wild failed to register a shot.

The power play is one area where the Wild has missed Koivu, the team's all-time leading in power-play points, and Zach Parise the most. In the past five games specifically, the Wild is 0 for 11 on the power play.

The Wild got off to a decent start in the second before the tide turned and the Stars began to sustain pressure shift after shift. The Wild got hemmed in its zone several times, a common trend lately in the second period perhaps because of the long change to the Wild bench.

Regardless, Dallas' fourth line, which include veterans Ray Whitney and Horcoff, helped turn the momentum and finally the Stars tied the score.

The play started in the neutral zone when defenseman Jonas Brodin tried to chip the puck up the wall. But it was picked off by Vernon Fiddler, who carried it into the zone, centered himself and directed a puck to the net.

Kuemper kicked out the rebound and Garbutt tied the score.

Coach Mike Yeo called time out to calm the troops with the Stars all over Minnesota.

The Wild responded 2:12 later. On the same shift that defenseman Trevor Daley toppled over and Lehtonen had to rob Matt Cooke, Suter scored the go-ahead goal.

Brodin redeemed himself for the earlier turnover by stealing a puck at the blue line and popping it to the right circle for Torrey Mitchell.

Mitchell capped a terrific shift for himself personally by feeding Suter, who whistled his sixth goal since Dec. 29 from the point by Lehtonen. Suter has 16 points in the past 19 games.

Brodin left the game early in the third period bleeding profusely from the nose after taking a high-stick from Antoine Roussel. No call was made because the referees considered it a follow-through of a shot attempt.

He returned to the game midway through the third

(c)2014 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services


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