The Minnesota Wild (2-0-0) scored three goals in the second period and held on to beat the Los Angeles Kings (1-1-0) by a score of 3-2 on Saturday night. Seven different skaters had a point for the Wild in the win. Cam Talbot stopped 29 of 31 shots and now has a .951 save percentage on the year.
Viktor Arvidsson opened the scoring for the Kings at the 5:23 mark of the second period with a power-play goal. Arvidsson collected a rebound in the slot, deked around Talbot, and backhanded the puck into the net. However the Wild responded just 54 seconds later as Frederick Gaudreau found his way to an open area of the slot and blasted a one-timer from Kevin Fiala into the net.
Despite tying the game the Wild did not take their foot off the gas. Five minutes later Viktor Rask gave Minnesota the lead after finishing an absolute dime from Kirill Kaprizov. It should be noted that head coach Dean Evason was pairing Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello with center Joel Eriksson-Ek to begin the season but shifted lines midway through the second period of this game. It seemed as though this move payed off right away as Kaprizov and Rask’s chemistry clicked right back into place (the pair played together for a majority of the 2020 season).
It then appeared as though preseason fan-favorite Brandon Duhamie scored his first career NHL goal as he stuffed in a wraparound attempt under the pad of Kings’ goaltended Jonathan Quick. The goal was overturned – the ruling was that Duhamie pushed Quick’s pad into the net – but Ryan Hartman would make it a 3-1 game just 28 seconds after the review.
In the third period the Wild played conservatively but gave up a goal after an Anze Kopitar shot deflected off of a skate and into the back of the net. It was Kopitar’s NHL-leading fourth goal and seventh point of the season. Los Angeles pulled their goalie with two minutes left in the game but could not find the equalizer.
The Wild will now travel back to St. Paul and play their season opener against the Winnipeg Jets (0-2-0) on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM CST. It will be the first Wild home game since March 3, 2020 that 100% of fans will be allowed into the Xcel Energy Center.