Wild beat Kings 3-1, win fifth straight game

Wild beat Kings 3-1, win fifth straight game

2021-02-27 04:33:50
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ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Wild blew the Los Angeles Kings with three goals in the space of just over three minutes in the first period and retained a 3-1 win on Friday-evening for their fifth straight win.

Kirill Kaprizov, Nick Bjugstad and Joel Eriksson Ek scored for the Wild, ending the Kings' six-game winning streak. Minnesota & # 39; s last defeat was to the Kings in Los Angeles on February 16. That was Minnesota's first game back after a two-week layoff due to COVID-19 protocols.

Cam Talbot stopped 27 shots for the Wild and held the Kings winless to Jeff Carter's goal late in the third period in his first action since February 2.

"It's been a long time to be out," said Bjugstad, who, along with Talbot, was one of 15 Wild players sidelined by the corona virus. “Coming back to COVID, those first few games are difficult. And he came out with a lot of energy and a lot of confidence. "

Of course, it never hurts when your teammates give you a three goal lead in the first period.

& # 39; It kind of calms you down and takes a little bit of pressure off you to make that next rescue, & # 39; Talbot acknowledged. “I just tried to go out, stay focused, put pucks where I want to put them, eat pucks when I could – just try to play as calmly as possible and try to make myself less work in my first game back. "

Jonathan Quick made 27 saves for the Kings, who were brought in by the Wild's three goals in a period of 3:03.

Minnesota struck first on Kaprizov's fifth of the year, a big goal at 12:33 p.m.

Bjugstad doubled the Wild's lead less than two minutes later after Quick misplayed a puck off the board. The carom only rolled in the slot to Bjugstad and he buried a backhander for his 100th career goal.

Barely a minute had passed when Eriksson Ek batted in his own rebound for his team-leading seventh of the season and a 3-0 Wild lead.

Carter messed up the shutout when he crashed the net on a 3v2 and squeezed the puck past Talbot for his fourth of the year.

The Wild played their first home game since January 31. After their season resumed, they played five consecutive games on the road before returning home for a few games against the Kings.

The teams are square again in Minnesota on Saturday-evening. The Kings hope they can build on the improvements they made after their disastrous start on Friday.

"The last two periods (were) better," said Anze Kopitar, downtown Los Angeles. & # 39; Still not up to our standards, but we kind of stopped the bleeding I guess. Tomorrow is a new game and we will have to be much better than tonight. "

FACE FIRST

Kaprizov is one of the season's biggest stories for the Wild, whose fans have watched videos of his flashy game since the team called him up from Russia in 2015. the excitement of the fans.

While defender Drew Doughty chased him as he worked behind the Kings net, Kaprizov gained control of the puck at the bottom of the left face-off circle. His first shot was kicked off the left post by Quick, but the puck seeped behind the net, where Kaprizov picked it up.

When Doughty dragged him to the ice, Kaprizov made his way around the other side of the net and put the puck in the right post.

The 23-year-old left wing leads NHL rookies by 16 points.

"If he's not the best rookie in the league, he has to be one of the top two or three," said Kings coach Todd McLellan. "This is already game six or seven against him and every night he gets better."


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