The Minnesota Wild scored two third period goals to defeat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 Monday at the Staples Center.
The Wild trailed by one goal heading into the third period for the second consecutive game and came back to get the victory in regulation.
Saturday, it was a goal that sparked the Wild comeback. Monday it was a physical response.
Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin hit Jason Pominville with a head shot – Muzzin’s second such hit of the game. Matt Moulson jumped in to protect his teammate.
Moulson later scored off a pass from Pominville nearly three minutes and 54 seconds into the third period. It took 62 seconds for Mikko Koivu to score the game-winning goal off a pass from Charlie Coyle.
Zach Parise got the Wild on the board early in the second period with a power play tally. He deflected a rebound that bound over Jonathan Quick into the open net.
The Kings (44-26-6) entered the game on fire with a six-game win streak and winners of 13 of 16 since the Olympic break.
Alec Martinez and Justin Williams gave the Kings a pair of one-goal leads in the first and second periods, respectively.
The Wild (39-26-11) are 10 points from clinching a spot in the playoffs. They any combination of them gaining and/or the Dallas Stars to lose 10 points
The good news is the Wild won, but the team lost two forwards – Nino Niederreiter and Granlund – to upper body injuries. The extent of the injuries was not immediately released.
The Wild return to action Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.
Other Wild news
The Wild announced during the first period that the team had come to terms with college free agent Christian Folin. The 23-year-old sophomore defenseman recorded six goals and 14 points for the University of Massachusetts at Lowell this season. He is listed at 6-feet-3-inches tall and 210-pounds on the school’s official roster. Prior to enrolling at UMass-Lowell, he played for the Tier II Austin (Minn.) Bruins of the NAHL after a brief stint with the Fargo Force of the USHL.
No. 3 – Zach Parise. The Wild forward recorded a goal and an assist.
No. 2 – Mikko Koivu. The Wild forward scored a goal and added an assist.
No. 1 – Matt Moulson. The Wild forward scored a goal.
Minnesota………0 1 2 – 3
Los Angeles….…1 1 0 – 2
First Period – 1, Los Angeles, Martinez 11 (Kopitar, Williams), 6:30. Penalties – Cooke, MIN (interference), 15:06.
Second Period – 2, Minnesota, Parise 28 (Granlund, Koivu), 3:37 (pp). 3, Los Angeles, Williams 19 (Gaborik, Mitchell), 11:49. Penalties – Pearson, LAK (hooking), 3:01; Moulson, MIN (roughing), 12:09; Moulson, MIN (roughing; served by Fontaine), 12:09; Muzzin, LAK (roughing), 12:09.
Third Period – 4, Minnesota, Moulson 22 (Pominville, Haula), 3:54. 5, Minnesota, Koivu 10 (Coyle, Parise), 4:56. Penalties – None.
Shots on goal – Minnesota 8-4-8 20. Los Angeles 8-7-5 20.
Goalies – Minnesota, Bryzgalov (18-20). Los Angeles, Quick (17-20). Referees – Brad Watson, Mike Leggo. Linesmen – Darren Gibbs, Tony Sericolo.