The magic Josh Harding had a couple weeks ago that made him the league’s No. 1 star was gone Saturday in the Staples Center.
Harding stopped a lot of shots (17 of 21), but that came in just over half the game.
When the Kings scored their fourth goal on Harding, it was clear the Wild needed a spark.
Enter Niklas Backstrom.
It took the Kings just two and a half minutes to get one past him.
The Kings (8-6-3) scored a number of ways; a fluke loose puck in the crease, a good hard work play around the net, a very good rush, a defensive breakdown and long shot through traffic from the point.
The Wild finally came to life in the third period and has something to build on as comes right back Sunday with a game at the Anaheim Ducks.
The Wild (8-5-3) avoided getting shutout with a power play goal 47 seconds into the third period. Cal Clutterbuck banged a loose puck into the net past Jonathan Quick for his third goal of the season. Dany Heatley assisted on the goal for his 500th career point. Mikko Koivu also assisted on the goal.
No. 3 – Darroll Powe. The Wild forward had solid game with a goal and very good penalty killing.
No. 2 – Justin Williams. The Kings forward recorded two assists, including the main helper on the eventual game-winner.
No. 1 – Dustin Brown. The Kings forward scored a goal and was the best player on the ice.
Minnesota 0 0 2 – 2
Los Angeles 1 4 0 – 5
First Period – 1, Los Angeles, Fraser 1 (Moreau, Lewis), 2:49. Penalties – Staubitz, Min (high sticking), 6:09; Setoguchi, Min (hooking), 9:12; Peters, Min, major (boarding), 17:38.
Second Period – 2, Los Angeles, Martinez 2 (Williams, Gagne), 2:00 (pp). 3, Los Angeles, Brown 4 (J. Johnson), 6:49. 4, Los Angeles, Gagne 6 (Kopitar, Williams), 11:44. 5, Los Angeles, Greene 1, (Hunter, Stoll), 14:13. Penalties – Richardson, LAK (roughing), 5:01; Prosser, Min (roughing), 5:01; Gagne, LAK (roughing), 19:21.
Third Period – 6, Minnesota, Clutterbuck 3 (Koivu, Heatley), :47 (pp). 7, Minnesota, Powe 3 (Zidlicky, Prosser), 12:23. Penalties – Falk, Min (roughing), 2:39; Clifford, LAK (roughing), 2:39; J. Johnson, LAK (holding), 4:22; Peters, Min (roughing), 13:21; Fraser, LAK (roughing), 13:21; Clutterbuck, Min (slashing), 16:07; Gillies, Min (slashing), 17:53; Brown, LAK (slashing), 18:23.
Shots on goal – Minnesota 3-11-12 26. Los Angeles 12-15-9 36.
Goalies – Minnesota, Harding (17-21), Backstrom (14-15). Los Angeles, Quick (24-26). A – N/A. Referees – Steve Kozari, Francois St. Laurent. Linesmen – Derek Amell, Tony Sericolo.