Wild defeat the Pacific Division-leading Kings in shootout
Also, for the second consecutive game, it was Erik Christensen that gave the home crowd reason to celebrate. He now has scored three game-tying goals for the Wild and has six goals in the last 10 games.
This time he didn’t wait until the final minute get the equalizer.
He went to net and had a shot from Jason Zucker glance off his leg and into the net with nine minutes and three seconds remaining in regulation. Zucker’s initial shot went off the stick of a Kings back checker before hitting Christensen.
Zucker early picked up his first career point on an assist to give the Wild its second lead of the game; coming 17 seconds after the Kings tied the game, early in the first period. He took a pass at center ice from Christensen and drove the net off the edge. The rebound bounced to Nick Johnson, who slid it into the open net for his eighth tally of the season.
“That was actually a lucky play that it bounced right to (Johnson),” Zucker said. “When your line is working hard things go your way sometimes.”
While his game is not where it needs to be yet, Zucker is starting to settle into the lineup. He now has two points in two games.
“I got the jitters out last game,” Zucker said. “I was able to come out tonight and play more of my game.”
The Kings (39-27-13) erased two one-goal deficits in the first period, before taking its only lead of the game 57 seconds into the second period.
Zucker nearly picked up his third assist, but a penalty denied Devin Setoguchi a chance to get a shot on goal. Zucker lifted a backhand pass to center ice that Setoguchi caught in-stride for the breakaway. Setoguchi was awarded a penalty shot, but hit the post with a wrist shot to keep the score tied at 3-3.
“He was calling for it. That made it easy for me,” Zucker said about the pass. “I just tried to get it out of the zone and it end up going right on his stick.”
Justin Falk also had two assists for the Wild.
No. 3 – Niklas Backstrom. The Wild goaltender stopped 26 shots, but the save of the game in overtime to keep the game tied.
No. 2 – Brad Richardson. The Kings forward scored two goals.
No. 1 – Erik Christensen. The Wild forward scored the game-tying goal and also had an assist.
Los Angeles 2 1 0 0 – 3
Minnesota 2 0 1 0 – 4
First Period – 1, Minnesota, Powe 6 (Prosser, Falk), :40. 2, Los Angeles, Richardson 4 (Brown, Kopitar), 3:28. 3, Minnesota, Johnson 8 (Zucker, Christensen), 3:45. 4, Los Angeles, Brown 21 (Richards, Kopitar), 15:31 (pp). Penalties – Fraser, LA (goaltender interference), 9:22; Richards, LA (delay of game-puck over glass), 12:00; Veilleux, Min (slashing), 14:14; Peters, Min (delay of game-puck over glass), 17:43.
Second Period – 5, Los Angeles, Richardson 5 (Kopitar, Brown), :57. Penalties – Falk, Min (cross checking), 11:41.
Third Period – 6, Minnesota, Christensen 7 (Zucker, Falk), 10:57. Penalties – King, LA, double minor (high sticking), 12:31; Koivu, Min (tripping), 19:37.
Overtime – None. Penalties – None.
Penalty Shot – Setoguchi, Min (missed), 3:42 (OT).
Shootout – Los Angeles Williams (save), Richards (save). Minnesota Christensen (goal), Koivu (goal).
Shots on goal – Los Angeles 9-8-7-5 29. Minnesota 9-5-7-2 23.
Goalies – Los Angeles, Bernier (20-23). Minnesota, Backstrom (26-29). A – 18,209. Referees – Dave Jackson, Brad Meier. Linesmen – Mike Cvik, Scott Cherrey.