Saturday was not pretty in Arizona, and Friday night did not exactly end with the Wild playing their best in Vegas.
Zach Parise cut into the deficit midway through the second period, showing great patience before firing a puck past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, and Staal tied the score later in the frame with a blistering wrist shot on a breakaway after a attractive headman pass from Ryan Suter. After the Kings the Wild host the National Hockey League leading Nashville Predators on Saturday, and then right back at it Sunday against Boston, who by that time may be the Eastern Conference points leader. But two road wins is very solid for this team and finding ways to win at this time of the season is always a good sign.
Los Angeles finished 1-for-2 on the power play, while the Wild blanked on their lone chance.
So as the Kings begin a four-game road trip Monday night with three games against playoff teams (Minnesota, Winnipeg, Colorado), the road doesn't get any easier.
Locked in a tight playoff race with only 10 games left in the regular season, the importance of every game wasn't lost on the Wild heading into Monday night's game against Los Angeles. LA is one of the teams Minnesota wants to keep in their rearview mirror so winning tonight becomes that much more important, not to mention the next two opponents on tap for the Wild. "To get into the next category, the 90 points, is really big".
"Every point we get right now is great", Boudreau said, trying to look on the bright side. The Kings pulled into a tie with Anaheim for third place in the Pacific Division with 86 points, and hold the tiebreaker over the Ducks. The Wild gave up the first two goals of the game, but they managed to take a 3-2 lead in the dying minutes of regulation.
"They need points; so do we", Staal said. Dubnyk has dropped three of his last four decisions. Staal has 13 goals in the past 14 games.
With 1:13 left in the first, the Kings opened the scoring when winger Tanner Pearson one-timed a behind-the-back Dustin Brown feed by goalie Devan Dubnyk. "Again, we had the lead with a minute to go and then we didn't do the right things in the overtime".
LA is tied with the Dallas Stars in points, but have the ROW advantage (37-34) while also owning a game in-hand.
As for Suter, the assist was his 43rd - tying his single-season high and Wild franchise record by a defenseman.
Winger Zach Parise cut the deficit in half at 12:08 of the second period, skating across the offensive zone after accepting a Nino Niederreiter pass and roofing the puck over Quick.
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