The Los Angeles Kings beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 in overtime on Saturday and avoided losing a second consecutive home game in the process.
Los Angeles needed extra time but they were able walk away with two points for the first time during their current seven-game home stand. They were shut out by the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night to start the home stand but put up a much better all around effort against Minnesota on Saturday.
Jeff Carter scored goal number 22 on the season and had three points while Peter Budaj turned away 20 of the 22 shots he faced in the win.
The Wild didn’t go down without a fight, though. They opened the game with two goals on their first four shots and scored a goal with under a minute and a half to play in order to force the game into extra time. But they ultimately came up short when Tanner Pearson ended the game for Los Angeles.
Carter commented on Pearson’s knack for overtime success, via LA Kings Insider, “He’s the guy that when he’s going and he’s getting looks at the net, he can put them in. I think 3-on-3 overtime he’s got a few for us this year and he’s a really good skater and he can kind of get a jump on guys and find that open ice and like I said, when he gets chances he can put them in.”
The two teams will meet again later in the season when the Wild host the Kings in February for the final game their 2016-17 season series.
It didn’t take long for the Wild to open the game’s scoring. Pearson mishandled a Jake Muzzin pass in the neutral zone which is where Mikko Koivu picked up the loose puck and skated into the Kings’ zone. He released a writser that squeaked through Peter Budaj’s pads and into the back of the net.
Then just over four minutes later it was Minnesota who struck again. They controlled the puck after a faceoff in Los Angeles’ zone when Jason Pominville skated around the net and got the puck to the slot where Charlie Coyle was waiting before he slid the puck under a sprawling Budaj.
Minnesota opened the game with two goals on their first four shots and was held to only two more shots over the course of the final 13 minutes of the period. Los Angeles did out shoot the Wild nine to six in the period but were unable to crack Darcy Kuemper.
Early in the game’s middle frame, the Kings had a glorious chance to trim Minnesota’s lead to one. Marian Gaborik took a shot and Kuemper was unable to control the rebound which found its way to Trevor Lewis’ stick. Lewis had an open net because Kuemper had been collided with in the crease, but Lewis missed the empty net.
The Kings continued to pressure Minnesota as the period progressed which resulted in six shots on net in the first seven and half minutes of the period. Then Los Angeles joined the party thanks to a goal by Carter.
Carter picked up the puck in the defensive zone and skated down the right side into Minnesota’s zone. He let go of a wrist shot that went off the edge of Kuemper’s glove and just inside the right post.
As the period progressed, the Kings continued to pressure Minnesota. This pressure eventually turned into the first goal of the season for Marian Gaborik and a 2-2 tie for the two teams. Gaborik made a move off the side boards, cut in on Kuemper and took a backhand shot. The shot bounced off of Kuemper’s pad back into the slot where it ricocheted off Wild defenseman, Ryan Suter and into Minnesota’s net.
Both teams exchanged chances late in the period and the Kings had one power opportunity but the goalies stood tall to close out the second period.
It was a better period for Los Angeles who both out chanced and out shot Minnesota through 40 minutes.
Scoring chances in the 2nd period (& total): LA 8 (10), MIN 4 (7).
SOG: LA 25, MIN 15. #LAKings tie the game up, 2-2.
— Bo Hamby (@hamby_bo) January 7, 2017
It didn’t take long for the Kings to capitalize in the game’s final period. Just seven seconds into the period, Jared Spurgeon took a cross checking penalty and Los Angeles cashed in on the opportunity when Jake Muzzin fired a slap shot over the shoulder of Kuemper to give them their first lead of the game.
The Wild turned on the pressure throughout the remainder of the period in hopes of tying the game and forcing overtime. As the Kings tried to weather the storm late in the game, Drew Doughty took a penalty with just 1:17 to play and that was the break Minnesota needed.
Zach Parise was positioned in the slot when he received a pass from Eric Stall and beat Budaj who was coming off his post to make the save. The puck got past Budaj and with just 43 seconds remaining Minnesota had tied the game at three.
Tanner Pearson ended the game with just 1:28 remaining in the extra period. The play started with Kopitar giving the puck to Alec Martinez on the left point. As Martinez drifted toward Kuemper, Pearson activated off the side boards and as Martinez shot the puck Pearson crossed in front of the Wild net and redirected the puck past the goalie for the win.
MIN – Mikko Koivu (12) unassisted
MIN – Charlie Coyle (13) assisted by Jason Pominville
LAK – Jeff Carter (22) assisted by Jake Muzzin (7)
LAK – Marian Gaborik assisted by Jeff Carter (13) and Drew Doughty (13)
LAK – Jake Muzzin (4) assisted by Drew Doughty (14) and Jeff Carter (14)
MIN – Zach Parise (8) assisted by Eric Staal (21) and Mikko Koivu (16)
LAK – Tanner Pearson (11) assisted by Alec Martinez (16) and Anze Kopitar (15)
THW Three Stars
First: Jeff Carter (1 goal. 2 assists)
Second: Mikko Koivu (1 goal, 1 assist)
Third: Tanner Pearson (1 goal)
Dallas Stars at Los Angeles Kings
Staples Center – 7:30 p.m. PST on Monday, Jan. 9
Broadcast channels – FS-W, FS-SW
2016-17 Season Series:
Oct. 20 – Kings 4 – Stars 3 (OT)
Dec. 23 – Stars 3 – Kings 2 (OT)
Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks
Honda Center – 5:00 p.m. PST on Sunday, Jan. 8
Broadcast channels – NBCSN
2016-17 Season Series:
First meeting of 2016-17
Eric received his BA in Journalism from California State University, Northridge. Eric has contributed to RinkRoyalty.com, Buffalowdown.com and California Rubber Magazine.