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
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
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
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
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.
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