Two quick goals early in 3rd rally Wild past Kings
By Dennis Bernstein
LOS ANGELES — Winger Zach Parise and center Mikko Koivu each had a goal and an assist, goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 18 saves, and the Minnesota Wild defeated the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 Monday at Staples Center.
For the second game in a row, Minnesota rallied to win on the road despite trailing after two periods. The Wild (39-26-11) solidified their hold on the first wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Minnesota scored three third-period goals Saturday to top the Phoenix Coyotes, who trail the Wild by three points in the postseason chase. The Dallas Stars are one point behind Phoenix.
Down 2-1 entering the third period, Minnesota forged its only lead of the night with two goals in a space of 1:02. Winger Matt Moulson tied the game with 22nd goal of the season. Moulson gained possession in the right corner and worked a give and go with winger Jason Pominville to beat Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick with a short wrist shot at 3:54.
Koivu scored the game-winning goal at 4:56 when he took a feed from winger Charlie Coyle and beat Quick with a wrist shot inside the left circle.
The Kings opened the scoring on defenseman Alec Martinez's 11th goal of the season at 6:30 of the first period. Center Anze Kopitar forced a turnover by Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon behind the Minnesota net, then spotted Martinez in the slot for a wrist shot from 25 feet.
The Wild evened the score on a power-play goal by Parise at 3:37 of the middle period. Center Mikael Granlund partially fanned on a shot from the slot, but Parise, stationed by the left post, batted the puck out of mid-air for his 28th goal of the season.
The Kings retook the lead on winger Justin Williams 16th goal of the season at 11:19 of the middle frame. Winger Marian Gaborik gained possession off a scramble in front of Bryzgalov and passed to Williams, who converted a wrist shot.
Los Angeles (44-26-6) had a six-game winning streak snapped. Quick stopped 17 Minnesota shots.
NOTES: Minnesota did not dress D Keith Ballard, D Clayton Stoner, C Cody McCormick, LW Dany Heatley, C Mike Rupp, G Niklas Backstrom and G Darcy Kuemper. ... Due to an injury to Kuempfer during the morning skate, the Wild signed 43-year-old Rob Laurie to a pro tryout contract to backup starter Ilya Bryzgalov. Laurie served as a backup twice before in the past year for the Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks and was paid $500 for the night and got to keep his game jersey. ... Wild D Jonathon Blum played in his 100th NHL game. ... Los Angeles scratched D Matt Greene and LW Dwight King. ... Los Angeles RW Justin Williams scored his second goal in five games. ... The Kings' 24 road wins this season are a franchise record.