Down 3 goals early, Wild rally past Kings 6-3
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Matt Boldy and Jared Spurgeon each had a goal and an assist, helping the Minnesota Wild rally from an early three-goal deficit to beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-3 on Sunday.
Kirill Kaprizov tied a franchise record with his 42nd goal, and Mats Zuccarello, Marcus Foligno and Nick Bjugstad also scored as Minnesota ended a two-game slide and improved to 10-1-2 in its last 13 games. The Wild are also 8-0-1 in their last nine home contests.
Eleven players had points for Minnesota, which had its first three-goal comeback win of the season. The Wild are in a second-place tie with St. Louis in the Central Division with a game in hand.
“We just stuck with the game plan,” said Jake Middleton, who had two assists. “I’ve mentioned every time I get up here how it’s cliché to say, but every cliché is kind of what wins you hockey games in the second half of the year and going into playoffs. And that’s what we did.”
Rasmus Kupari, Carl Grundstrom and Adrian Kempe scored for struggling Los Angeles, which allowed six unanswered goals and tied a season high with its third straight loss and is 2-4-1 in its past seven. The Kings are four points behind Edmonton for second in the Pacific Division and two up on fourth-place Vegas. The Oilers and Golden Knights have each played one less game.
“They’re good teams. They’re fighting for playoffs, too,” Kings center Phillip Danault said. “We’ve got to regroup here and make sure we’re ready for the next game, and we can’t put our heads down too much. It’s hard enough, but we’ve got to find ways.”
Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves for Minnesota, including stopping the final 29 shots he faced.
“The team that we have, I always have confidence that we can comeback in games, and we did tonight,” said Fleury, a trade deadline acquisition who is 4-1-0 with a 2.44 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in five starts with the Wild.
Tied at 3 midway through the second period, Zuccarello scored off a faceoff and Foligno redirected a shot from Jordie Benn behind Cal Petersen for a 5-3 lead. Bjugstad scored on a rebound early in the third for the Wild’s sixth straight goal.
It was a result few likely saw coming after a dominating start by the Kings.
Kupari scored a short-handed goal, Grundstrom had an even-strength score and Kempe made it 3-0 on the power play in the opening 11 minutes.
“You score a shorty to start with, and you get one on the power play five seconds in, there’s probably not a lot of games that teams are losing in the National Hockey League when that happens,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “But when you don’t check well, you don’t break out well and you’re not good around your net, when your details erode, a team like Minnesota and some of the upper-echelon teams can punish you, and they did that.”
Minnesota answered twice late in the period and once early in the second to even the game.
A centering pass by Kaprizov deflected off the stick of defenseman Olli Maatta for a power-play goal, and a one-timer by Boldy found the net 50 seconds later. Spurgeon scored early in the second.
MAKING THEIR MARKS
Kaprizov tied the Wild record held by Marian Gaborik and Eric Staal. He has 10 goals in his past 10 games. ... Spurgeon had an assist on Kaprizov’s goal to extend his assist streak to seven games, matching Ryan Suter for the longest such run by a defenseman in team history. It also ties the longest point streak by a Wild defenseman, last done by Matt Dumba in 2018-19.
NOTES: Petersen stopped 27 shots. ... The Kings have scored 11 short-handed goals this season, tying them with Florida for second most in the NHL. Toronto has 13. ... Los Angeles C Blake Lizotte (upper body), a Minnesota native, returned after missing six games. ... Boldy missed the previous four games with an upper-body injury. ... Wild D Jon Merrill missed his fifth straight game and Dumba his second in a row, both with upper-body injuries.
Kings: At Chicago on Tuesday night.
Wild: Home on Tuesday night against Edmonton.
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