Wild starts strong but loses a shootout to Kings

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 4, 2013 - 8:51 AM

Goalie Jonathan Quick made 27 saves and kept the game close with the Wild swarming, paving the way for the Kings’ shootout victory in the season opener.

 

With a minute left in Thursday night’s season opener, Torrey Mitchell sent a puck to the goalmouth and chaos ensued as Kyle Brodziak and Matt Cooke tried to bury the potentially winning goal against the Los Angeles Kings.

A pile of bodies collapsed around the crease. Slava Voynov blocked one shot, Trevor Lewis another. Pucks slid off sticks, deflecting everywhere but behind elastic all-world goalie Jonathan Quick.

“There were like eight guys crawling in the crease,” said Cooke, who had previously scored on his first shift in a Wild sweater. “The puck keeps bouncing back to us, but we can’t really get a clean shot. I thought we had it.”

The Wild scored twice in the first period and held the 2012 Stanley Cup winners to 11 shots through two. Yet somehow, the Wild’s string of 11 consecutive home-opening victories ended when the opportunistic Kings forced overtime with a third-period goal to eventually seize the extra point in a 3-2 shootout win.

“The old shootout, eh?” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “It’s funny what that extra point makes you feel at the end of the game.”

The Wild felt it deserved better, and signs of improvement were there.

In the first 40 minutes, Wild forwards crashed the blue paint. The defensemen jumped into the play and the Wild generated continuous speed through the middle. Defensively, the Wild gave up next to nothing, other than Drew Doughty’s power-play one-timer past a screened Niklas Backstrom.

In fact, the Wild routinely forced the Kings to cough up pucks. Yet every time, especially in the second, Quick — always the contortionist — closed the door.

Zach Parise, for one, was blanked on eight shots.

“The finish wasn’t there,” Parise said. “Opportunities, you’ve got to put them in. You can’t let a team like that hang around. They’re very comfortable playing in tight games.”

Jonas Brodin gave the Wild a 2-1 lead on a first-period power play, but the Wild’s power play couldn’t convert its final three. The momentum killer was the middle one. The Wild couldn’t get set up, the Kings killed it and took control, starting to pressure before eventually tying the score at 2-2 on Jeff Carter’s tally with 6:46 left.

After a bland overtime, Parise and Mikko Koivu couldn’t beat Quick, and Anze Kopitar and Carter sliced and diced Backstrom in the shootout.

Still, reason for optimism: “We played hard, we played physical, we carried the pace of play,” Cooke said.

Nino Niederreiter had a solid debut, taking three first-period shots and setting up Brodin’s goal after digging the puck from the wall. Brodziak, looking to have a bounce-back year, was strong on the penalty kill and constantly hounded the puck at even strength. The 22-goal scorer of two years ago created multiple scoring chances.

And, as Yeo said: “I liked the way we defended. We were frustrating, hard to play against. It was tough for them to get ice, to get to our zone. That allowed us to go back at them a lot.”

Yeo did feel that starting late in the second, the Wild — particularly the second line of Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle and Dany Heatley, who had a strong first period — stopped putting pucks to the net.

“That’s what a goalie like Quick can do to you,” Yeo said. “You start all of a sudden looking for the perfect play and forget how we scored.”

Cooke, the longtime Vancouver Canuck, scored 64 seconds in when Brodziak threw a puck through the crease and it deflected in off Cooke’s skate. So one of the most reviled Wild opponents of all time was serenaded with a loud ovation by the Wild faithful one shift into his Minnesota career.

Unexpected, to say the least.

“I felt good in a green uni,” Cooke said.









 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

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