The Sports Xchange, Published January 16 2014
Wild cruise in home victoryST. PAUL – Minnesota Wild left winger Jason Zucker had 18,000 people show up for his 22nd birthday party, and he gave them a further reason to celebrate Thursday.
Zucker set a team record when he scored just eight seconds into the third period – the fastest home goal to start a period in team history – as Minnesota cruised to a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
Right wingers Jason Pominville and Justin Fontaine and defenseman Nate Prosser added goals for the Wild (26-19-5), who are winners of six of their last eight games.
“Walking out for that third period, I was thinking, ‘Boy, it’d be nice to grab another goal here quick,’” joked Wild coach Mike Yeo.
Zucker opened the final period with a successful rush to the Oilers net, taking a cross-ice pass from left winger Dany Heatley and catching Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens out of position. It was Zucker’s fourth goal of the season, and all of them have come since he was recalled from the Wild’s minor league team in Iowa on Jan. 1.
For Edmonton (15-30-5), center Jordan Eberle scored in the second period, but the team fell to 2-6-2 in its past 10 games. Scrivens, acquired Wednesday in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings, made 29 saves for the Oilers.
Pominville scored the lone goal of the opening period, making a pretty move around Scrivens after center Mikael Granlund stole the puck behind the Edmonton net and fed it to the goalmouth.
Edmonton 0 1 0— 1
Minnesota 1 2 1— 4
First Period—1, Minnesota, Pominville 19 (Granlund, Scandella) 10:36.
Second Period—2, Edmonton, Eberle 15 (unassisted) 2:36. 3, Minnesota, Prosser 1 (Pominville) 16:45. 4, Minnesota, Fontaine 12 (Brodziak, Cooke) 18:57.
Third Period—5, Minnesota, Zucker 4 (Heatley, Coyle) 0:08.
Shots on Goal—Edmonton 9-7-5—21. Minnesota 7-15-11—33.
Power-play opportunities—Edmonton 0 of 4. Minnesota 0 of 3.
Goalies—Edmonton Scrivens 7-6-4 (33 shots-29 saves). Minnesota Kuemper 3-2-0 (21-20).
A—18,037 (18,064). T—2:27.