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NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Los Angeles



(Monday, December 28th)

Final Score: Minnesota 4, Los Angeles 3

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Eric Belanger's goal with 2:25 to play led the Minnesota Wild to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

Belanger finished the game with two goals and an assist, while Martin Havlat and Kim Johnsson each lit the lamp for the Wild, who have won three straight. Niklas Backstrom stopped 29 shots in the win.

"I think the game got away from us a little bit, but [the Kings] are a very good team and they had nothing to lose," said Minnesota coach Todd Richards. "They were down by two goals and their defense was much more active and much more aggressive in the offensive zone, but good teams find ways to win and character teams find ways to win."

Drew Doughty and Scott Parse each had a goal and an assist, while Jack Johnson also scored for the Kings, who have dropped three in a row. Jonathan Quick made 19 stops in the loss.

"I thought we played well enough to win today," said Los Angeles coach Terry Murray. "We're playing well, we didn't think we played well in Phoenix, but we played well enough to win today and we just need to keep going with the same thing."

The Kings were trailing by one late in the game, but Parse tied the game with 2:37 to play, as he banged in the puck in the slot off a right point shot from Wayne Simmonds.

Minnesota, though, took the lead back just 12 seconds later, when, off the center-ice faceoff, Minnesota gained control of the puck in the neutral zone and Belanger skated down the right wing and blasted a slapper from the top of the right circle off the post and in.

Los Angeles yanked Quick from the net in the final minute but was unable to net the equalizer, as Minnesota held on for the win.

The game was scoreless in the second period, but Minnesota took a 1-0 lead 4:23 in as Havlat's wrister from the right circle beat Quick cleanly to the far post.

The Kings, though, tied the game at the 11:36 mark of the middle stanza, as Doughty hit the puck into the net as he ran into Backstrom for his ninth goal of the year.

However, the Wild got a power-play goal with five minutes to play in the second, when a rebound kicked out to the left circle where Johnsson one-timed it home.

Minnesota then made it a 3-1 game with 1:02 left in the second, as Owen Nolan threw the puck out front from the deep left boards where Belanger tapped it home for his seventh goal of the season.

Skating on the power play early in the third, the Kings made it a 3-2 game, as Johnson's one-timer from the right point hit off of Johnsson in front of the net and sailed past Backstrom just 2:28 in.

Game Notes

Minnesota plays at Anaheim on Tuesday...The Kings had won five straight against Minnesota...Los Angeles plays at Calgary on Wednesday...Minnesota went 1-for-2 on the power play while Los Angeles scored on its only man advantage.

12/29 01:41:24 ET


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