Backstrom pulled early in Wild's loss to Kings

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 5, 2013 - 5:45 AM

Minnesota’s losing streak has grown to three games.

hide

The Wild's Kyle Brodziak, left, and Los Angeles' Rob Scuderi fought for the puck during the first period.

Photo: JAE C. HONG, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– It’s too early to panic, but the Wild is heading into crisis mode.

Two veterans are hurt. Its defense has become leaky. Niklas Backstrom has shown signs of cracking. Scoring chances have become harder and harder to come by. And fundamentally, the Wild has lost focus.

Thursday night in a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center, the Wild turned pucks over, created odd-man rushes because of coverage mistakes, and committed some foolish line changes.

The result was the Wild’s third loss in a row, fourth in five games and a trip out of the top spot in the Northwest Division. It is now five points ahead of ninth-place Edmonton.

Since shutting out San Jose on March 23, the Wild has allowed 26 goals the past seven games.

“You can’t panic,” defenseman Ryan Suter said. “Throughout the year, you go through ups and downs. You’ve got to work harder to get out of it.”

The Wild has dropped the first two on this three-game trip. Friday is a travel day. When the Wild practices Saturday in Columbus, it will be its first real one in 14 days.

That’s why coach Mike Yeo said before Thursday’s game, “We have to be sharper with our focus. You can see the details have slipped. We have to get back to that attitude, ‘every detail is the difference in a hockey game.’ ”

Then, after bemoaning yet another bad start the night before in San Jose, the Wild responded by giving up two goals on two shots in the first 3 minutes, 7 seconds Thursday.

It wasn’t the quickest hook of Backstrom’s career, but he was replaced by Darcy Kuemper so quickly, he barely had long enough to work up a sweat.

Just 89 seconds in, Justin Williams scored off a 2-on-1 after captain Mikko Koivu missed the net by a large margin on an easy odd-man rush.

Soon after that, Drew Doughty took the puck from Devin Setoguchi in the Kings’ end and Los Angeles took off on a harmless-looking 3-on-3. That was until Mike Rupp went for an inexplicable line change, Torrey Mitchell crossed over and Mike Richards hit Jeff Carter for a 2-0 lead.

The Kings were held to nine shots through two periods but had a 3-0 lead. That came after newly-acquired Jason Pominville turned the puck over at the offensive blue line, which was followed by a wholesale poor line change. Anze Kopitar headmanned the puck to Williams, who blew a beauty by Kuemper.

Despite losing, the Wild allowed 14 shots, tied for the team record for fewest on the road. The Wild lost that Oct. 2011 game, too, at the Islanders.

Heatley out

Veteran Dany Heatley is expected to return to the Twin Cities on Friday with what’s believed to be a wrist injury. The Wild says there is no timetable, but it could be awhile.

“Somebody’s going to have to elevate their game,” Yeo said before the Kings’ game. “That’s two key guys that we lost the last couple games.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8 1st Qtr 6:06
Cleveland 11
New Orleans 15 1st Qtr 5:46
Washington 10
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
New York
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
Charlotte 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Memphis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Tampa Bay 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Are you happy to see the Royals in the World Series?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close